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By H. G. Wells 


By The Countess of Warwick 


By L. G. Chiozza Money, M.P. 


By Sir Ray Lankester, K.C.B., F.R.S. 


By C. J. Bond, F.R.C.S. 


By E. S. P. Haynes 


By Cecil Chesterton 


By Cicely Hamilton 


By Roger Fry 


By G. R. Stirling Taylor 


By The Rev. Conrad Noel 


By Herbert Trench 


By Hugh P. Vowles 


THIS book is the outcome of a conversational sug- 
gestion that the time was ripe for a fresh review of 
our general ideas of social organisation from the 
constructive standpoint. A collection of essays by 
contemporaries actively concerned with various 
special aspects of progress was proposed, and then 
the project was a little enlarged by the inclusion 
of a general introduction which should serve as a 
basis of agreement among the several writers. This 
introduction, which is now the first paper in the 
volume, was written and copies were made out and 
sent by Lady Warwick, Mr. Wells, and Mr. Taylor 
(who are to be regarded jointly as the general 
editors) to various friends who seemed likely to 
respond and participate, and this book came into 
being. A sort of loose unity has been achieved by 
this method ; but each writer remains only responsible 
for his own contribution, and the reader must not 
fall into the very easy mistake of confusing essays 
and suggestions with a programme We were not 
able in the time at our disposal to secure a sympa- 
thetic writer upon the various problems arising out 
of racial difference, which remain, therefore, outside 



our scope. We failed, also, to secure a detached 
and generalised paper upon religion. We believe, 
however, that, except for these omissions, we are 
presenting a fairly complete picture of constructive 
social ideals. It is interesting to note certain juxta- 
positions; this is not a socialist volume, and the con- 
structive spirit has long since passed beyond the 
purely socialist range. Neither Sir Ray Lankester, 
nor Mr. Haynes nor Mr. Fry would dream of calling 
himself a socialist; the former two would quite 
readily admit they were individualists. That old and 
largely fallacious antagonism of socialist and in- 
dividualist is indeed dissolving out of contemporary 

thought altogether. 

E. W. 

G. R. S. T. 
H. G. W. 








THIS volume of essays is essentially an exercise in 
restatement. It is an attempt on the part of its 
various writers to rephrase their attitude to con- 
temporary social changes. Each writes, it must be 
clearly understood, from his or her own standpoint; 
there is little or no effort to achieve a detailed con- 
sistency, but throughout there is a general unanimity, 
a common conception of a constructive purpose. 
What that common conception is, the present writer 
will first attempt to elucidate. 

In order to do so it is convenient to coin two ex- 
pressions, and to employ them with a certain defined 
intention. They are firstly: The Normal Social 
Life, and secondly: The Great State. Throughout 
this book these expressions will be used in accordance 
with the definitions presently to be given, and the 
fact that they are so used will be emphasized by the 



employment of capitals. It will be possible for any 
one to argue that what is here defined as the Normal 
Social Life is not the normal social life, and that the 
Great State is indeed no state at all. That will be 
an argument outside the range delimited by these 

Now what is intended by the Normal Social Life 
here is a type of human association and employment, 
of extreme prevalence and antiquity, which ap- 
pears to have been the lot of the enormous majority 
of human beings as far back as history or tradition 
or the vestiges of material that supply our concep- 
tions of the neolithic period can carry us. It has 
never been the lot of all humanity at any time, to- 
day it is perhaps less predominant than it has ever 
been, yet even to-day it is probably the lot of the 
greater moiety of mankind. 

Essentially this type of association presents a 
localized community, a community of which the 
greater proportion of the individuals are engaged 
more or less directly in the cultivation of the land. 
With this there is also associated the grazing or 
herding over wider or more restricted areas, belong- 
ing either collectively or discretely to the commun- 
ity, of sheep, cattle, goats, or swine, and almost 
always the domestic fowl is a commensal of man in 
this life. The cultivated land at least is usually 
assigned, temporarily or inalienably, as property to 
specific individuals, and the individuals are grouped 
in generally monogamic families of which the father 



is the head. Essentially the social unit is the 
Family, and even where as in Mahomedan countries 
there is no legal or customary restriction upon 
polygamy, monogamy still prevails as the ordinary 
way of living. Unmarried women are not esteemed, 
and children are desired. According to the dangers 
or securities of the region, the nature of the .culti- 
vation and the temperament of the people, this 
community is scattered either widely in separate 
steadings or drawn together into villages. At one 
extreme, over large areas of thin pasture this agri- 
cultural community may verge on the nomadic; at 
another, in proximity to consuming markets it may 
present the concentration of intensive culture. 
There may be an adjacent Wild supplying wood, 
and perhaps controlled by a simple forestry. The 
law that holds this community together is largely 
traditional and customary, and almost always as 
its primordial bond there is some sort of temple and 
some sort of priest. Typically the temple is de- 
voted to a local God or a localized saint, and its 
position indicates the central point of the locality, 
its assembly place and its market. Associated 
with the agriculture there are usually a few imper- 
fectly specialised tradesmen, a smith, a garment- 
maker perhaps, a basket-maker or potter, who 
group about the church or temple. The community 
may maintain itself in a state of complete isolation, 
but more usually there are tracks or roads to the 
centres of adjacent communities, and a certain 



drift of travel, a certain trade in non-essential 
things. In the fundamentals of life this normal 
community is independent and self-subsisting, and 
where it is not beginning to be modified by the novel 
forces of the new times it produces its own food and 
drink, its own clothing, and largely intermarries 
within its limits. 

This in general terms is what is here intended 
by the phrase the Normal Social Life. It is still 
the substantial part of the rural life of all Europe 
and most Asia and Africa, and it has been the life 
of the great majority of human beings for imme- 
morial years. It is the root life. It rests upon the 
soil, and from that soil below and its reaction to the 
seasons and the moods of the sky overhead have 
grown most of the traditions, institutions, senti- 
ments, beliefs, superstitions, and fundamental songs 
and stories of mankind. 

But since the very dawn of history at least this 
Normal Social Life has never been the whole com- 
plete life of mankind. Quite apart from the mar- 
ginal life of the savage hunter, there have been a 
number of forces and influences within men and 
women and without that have produced abnormal 
and surplus ways of living, supplemental, addi- 
tional, and even antagonistic to this normal scheme. 

And first as to the forces within men and women. 
Long as it has lasted, almost universal as it has 
been, the human being has never yet achieved a 
perfect adaptation to the needs of the Normal 



Social Life. He has attained nothing of that fric- 
tionless fitting to the needs of association one finds 
in the bee or the ant. Curiosity, deep stirrings to 
wander, the still more ancient inheritance of the 
hunter, a recurrent distaste for labor, and resent- 
ment against the necessary subjugations of family 
life have always been a straining force within the 
agricultural community. The increase of popula- 
tion during periods of prosperity has led at the 
touch of bad seasons and adversity to the desperate 
reliefs of war and the invasion of alien localities. 
And the nomadic and adventurous spirit of man 
found reliefs and opportunities more particularly 
along the shores of great rivers and inland seas. 
Trade and travel began, at first only a trade in 
adventitious things, in metals and rare objects and 
luxuries and slaves. With trade came writing and 
money; the inventions of debt and rent, usury and 
tribute. History finds already in its beginnings a 
thin network of trading and slaving flung over the 
world of the Normal Social Life, a network whose 
strands are the early roads, whose knots are the 
first towns and the first courts. 

Indeed all recorded history is in a sense the his- 
tory of these surplus and supplemental activities of 
mankind. The Normal Social Life flowed on in 
its immemorial fashion, using no letters, needing 
no records, leaving no history. Then, a little mi- 
nority, bulking disproportionately in the record, 
come the trader and sailor, the slave, the landlord 



and the tax - compeller, the townsman and the 

All written history is the story of a minority and 
their peculiar and abnormal affairs. Save in so far 
as it notes great natural catastrophes and tells of 
the spreading or retrocession of human life through 
changes of climate and physical conditions it re- 
solves itself into an account of a series of attacks 
and modifications and supplements made by exces- 
sive and superfluous forces engendered within the 
community upon the Normal Social Life. The very 
invention of writing is a part of those modifying 
developments. The Normal Social Life is essen- 
tially illiterate and traditional. The Normal Social 
Life is as mute as the standing crops; it is as sea- 
sonal and cyclic as nature herself, and reaches 
towards the future only an intimation of continual 

Now this human over-life may take either benefi- 
cent or maleficent or neutral aspects towards the 
general life of humanity. It may present itself as 
law and pacification, as a positive addition and 
superstructure to the Normal Social Life, as roads 
and markets and cities, as courts and unifying 
monarchies, as helpful and directing religious or- 
ganisations, as literature and art and science and 
philosophy, reflecting back upon the individual in 
the Normal Social Life from which it arose, a gilding 
and refreshment of new and wider interests and 
added pleasures and resources. One may define 



certain phases in the history of various countries 
when this was the state of affairs, when a country- 
side of prosperous communities with a healthy 
family life and a wide distribution of property, 
animated by roads and towns and unified by a 
generally intelligible religious belief, lived in a 
transitory but satisfactory harmony under a sym- 
pathetic government. I take it that this is the 
condition to which the minds of such original and 
vigorous reactionary thinkers as Mr. G. K. Chester- 
ton and Mr. Hilaire Belloc for example turn, as 
being the most desirable state of mankind. 

But the general effect of history is to present 
these phases as phases of exceptional good luck, 
and to show the surplus forces of humanity as on 
the whole antagonistic to any such equilibrium with 
the Normal Social Life. To open the book of his- 
tory haphazard is, most commonly, to open it at 
a page where the surplus forces appear to be in 
more or less destructive conflict with the Normal 
Social Life. One opens at the depopulation of 
Italy by the aggressive great estates of the Roman 
Empire, at the impoverishment of the French 
peasantry by a too centralised monarchy before 
the revolution, or at the huge degenerative growth 
of the great industrial towns of western Europe in 
the nineteenth century. Or again one opens at 
destructive wars. One sees these surplus forces 
over and above the Normal Social Life working 
towards unstable concentrations of population, to 



centralisation of government, to migrations and 
conflicts upon a large scale; one discovers the proc- 
ess developing into a phase of social fragmenta- 
tion and destruction and then, unless the whole 
country has been wasted down to its very soil, the 
Normal Social Life returns as the heath and furze 
and grass return after the burning of a common. 
But it never returns in precisely its old form. The 
surplus forces have always produced some traceable 
change; the rhythm is a little altered. As between 
the Gallic peasant before the Roman conquest, the 
peasant of the Gallic province, the Carlovingian 
peasant, the French peasant of the thirteenth, the 
seventeenth, and the twentieth centuries, there is, in 
spite of a general uniformity of life, of a common 
atmosphere of cows, hens, dung, toil, ploughing, 
economy, and domestic intimacy, an effect of ac- 
cumulating generalising influences and of wider 
relevancies. And the oscillations of empires and 
kingdoms, religious movements, wars, invasions, 
settlements leave upon the mind an impression 
that the surplus life of mankind, the less-localised 
life of mankind, that life of mankind which is not 
directly connected with the soil but which has 
become more or less detached from and independent 
of it, is becoming proportionately more important 
in relation to the Normal Social Life. It is as if a 
different way of living was emerging from the 
Normal Social Life and freeing itself from its 
traditions and limitations. 



And this is more particularly the effect upon the 
mind of a review of the history of the past two 
hundred years. The little speculative activities of 
the alchemist and natural philosopher, the little 
economic experiments of the acquisitive and enter- 
prising landed proprietor, favoured by unprecedented 
periods of security and freedom, have passed into 
a new phase of extraordinary productivity. They 
have added preposterously and continue to add on 
a gigantic scale and without any evident limits to 
the continuation of their additions, to the resources 
of humanity. To the strength of horses and men 
and slaves has been added the power of machines 
and the possibility of economies that were once 
incredible. The Normal Social Life has been over- 
shadowed as it has never been overshadowed be- 
fore by the concentrations and achievements of the 
surplus life. Vast new possibilities open to the 
race; the traditional life of mankind, its traditional 
systems of association, are challenged and threat- 
ened; and all the social thought, all the political 
activity of our time turns in reality upon the con- 
flict of this ancient system whose essentials we have 
here defined and termed the Normal Social Life 
with the still vague and formless impulses that 
seem destined either to involve it and men in a 
final destruction or to replace it by some new and 
probably more elaborate method of human asso- 

Because there is the following difference between 



the action of the surplus forces as we see them to- 
day and as they appeared before the outbreak of 
physical science and mechanism. Then it seemed 
clearly necessary that whatever social and political 
organisation developed, it must needs rest ulti- 
mately on the tiller of the soil, the agricultural 
holding, and the Normal Social Life. But now even 
in agriculture huge wholesale methods have appeared. 
They are declared to be destructive; but it is quite 
conceivable that they may be made ultimately as 
recuperative as that small agriculture which has 
hitherto been the inevitable social basis. If that 
is so, then the new ways of living may not simply 
impose themselves in a growing proportion upon 
the Normal Social Life, but they may even oust it 
and replace it altogether. Or they may oust it and 
fail to replace it. In the newer countries the 
Normal Social Life does not appear to establish 
itself at all rapidly. No real peasantry appears in 
either America or Australia; and in the older coun- 
tries, unless there is the most elaborate legislative 
and fiscal protection, the peasant population wanes 
before the large farm, the estate, and overseas 

Now most of the political and social discussion 
of the last hundred years may be regarded and re- 
phrased as an attempt to apprehend this defensive 
struggle of the Normal Social Life against waxing 
novelty and innovation, and to give a direction and 
guidance to all of us who participate. And it is 



very largely a matter of temperament and free 
choice still, just where we shall decide to place our- 
selves. Let us consider some of the key words of 
contemporary thought, such as Liberalism, Indi- 
vidualism, Socialism, in the light of this broad 
generalisation we have made; and then we shall 
find it easier to explain our intention in employing 
as a second technicality the phrase of The Great 
State as an opposite to the Normal Social Life, 
which we have already defined. 


THE Normal Social Life has been defined as one 
based on agriculture, traditional and essentially un- 
changing. It has needed no toleration and dis- 
played no toleration for novelty and strangeness. 
Its beliefs have been of such a nature as to justify 
and sustain itself, and it has had an intrinsic hos- 
tility to any other beliefs. The god of its com- 
munity has been a jealous god even when he was 
only a tribal and local god. Only very occasion- 
ally in history until the coming of the modern 
period do we find any human community relaxing 
from this ancient and more normal state of entire 
intolerance towards ideas or practices other than 
its own. When toleration and a receptive attitude 
towards alien ideas was manifested in the Old World, 
it was at some trading centre or political centre; 
new ideas and new religions came by water along 
2 13 


the trade routes. And such toleration as there was 
rarely extended to active teaching and propaganda. 
Even in liberal Athens the hemlock was in the last 
resort at the service of the ancient gods and the 
ancient morals against the sceptical critic. 

But with the steady development of innovating 
forces in human affairs, there has actually grown up 
a cult of receptivity, a readiness for new ideas, a 
faith in the probable truth of novelties. Liberalism 
I do not of course refer in any way to the political 
party which makes this profession is essentially 
anti-traditionalism; its tendency is to commit for 
trial any institution or belief that is brought before 
it. It is the accuser and antagonist of all the fixed 
and ancient values and imperatives and prohibi- 
tions of the Normal Social Life. And growing up 
in relation to Liberalism and sustained by it is the 
great body of scientific knowledge, which professes 
at least to be absolutely undogmatic and perpet- 
ually on its trial and under assay and re-examination. 

Now a very large part of the advanced thought 
of the past century is no more than the confused 
negation of the broad beliefs and institutions which 
have been the heritage and social basis of humanity 
for immemorial years. This is as true of the ex- 
tremest Individualism as of the extremest Socialism. 
The former denies that element of legal and cus- 
tomary control which has always subdued the in- 
dividual to the needs of the Normal Social Life, 
and the latter that qualified independence of dis- 



tributed property which is the basis of family 
autonomy. Both are movements against the an- 
cient life, and nothing is more absurd than the 
misrepresentation which presents either as a con- 
servative force. They are two divergent schools 
with a common disposition to reject the old and 
turn towards the new. The Individualist professes 
a faith for which he has no rational evidence, that 
the mere abandonment of traditions and controls 
must ultimately produce a new and beautiful social 
order; while the Socialist, with an equal liberalism, 
regards the outlook with a kind of hopeful dread 
and insists upon an elaborate legal readjustment, 
a new and untried scheme of social organisation to 
replace the shattered and weakening Normal Social 

Both these movements, and indeed all movements 
that are not movements for the subjugation of in- 
novation and the restoration of tradition, are vague 
in the prospect they contemplate. They produce 
no definite forecasts of the quality of the future 
towards which they so confidently indicate the way. 
But this is less true of modern socialism than of 
its antithesis, and it becomes less and less true as 
socialism, under an enormous torrent of criticism, 
slowly washes itself clean from the mass of partial 
statement, hasty misstatement, sheer error and 
presumption, that obscured its first emergence. 

But it is well to be very clear upon one point at 
this stage, and that is, that this present time is not 



a battle-ground between individualism and social- 
ism; it is a battle-ground between the Normal 
Social Life on the one hand and a complex of forces 
on the other which seek a form of replacement and 
seem partially to find it in these and other doctrines. 

Nearly all contemporary thinkers who are not 
too muddled to be assignable fall into one of three 
classes, of which the third we shall distinguish is 
the largest and most various and divergent. It 
will be convenient to say a little of each of these 
classes before proceeding to a more particular ac- 
count of the third. Our analysis will cut across 
many "accepted classifications, but there will be 
ample justification for this rearrangement. All of 
them may be dealt with quite justly as accepting 
the general account of the historical process which 
is here given. 

Then first we must distinguish a series of writers 
and thinkers which one may call the word con- 
servative being already politically assigned the 

These are people who really do consider the 
Normal Social Life as the only proper and desirable 
life for the great mass of humanity, and they are 
fully prepared to subordinate all exceptional and 
surplus lives to the moral standards and limitations 
that arise naturally out of the Normal Social Life. 
They desire a state in which property is widely 
distributed, a community of independent families 
protected by law and an intelligent democratic 



statecraft from the economic aggressions of large 
accumulations, and linked by a common religion. 
Their attitude to the forces of change is necessarily 
a hostile attitude. They are disposed to regard 
innovations in transit and machinery as undesir- 
able, and even mischievous disturbances of a whole- 
some equilibrium. They are at least unfriendly to 
any organisation of scientific research, and scornful 
of the pretensions of science. Criticisms of the 
methods of logic, scepticism of the more widely 
diffused human beliefs, they would classify as in- 
sanity. Two able English writers, Mr. G. K. 
Chesterton and Mr. Belloc, have given the clearest 
expression to this system of ideals, and stated an 
admirable case for it. They present a conception 
of vinous, loudly singing, earthy, toiling, custom- 
ruled, wholesome, and insanitary men; they are 
pagan in the sense that their hearts are with the 
villagers and not with the townsmen, Christian in 
the spirit of the parish priest. There are no other 
Conservators so clear-headed and consistent. But 
their teaching is merely the logical expression of an 
enormous amount of conservative feeling. Vast 
multitudes of less lucid minds share their hostility 
to novelty and research; hate, dread, and are eager 
to despise science, and glow responsive to the warm, 
familiar expressions of primordial feelings and im- 
memorial prejudices. The rural conservative, the 
liberal of the allotments and small-holdings type, 
Mr. Roosevelt in his Western-farmer, philopro- 



genitive phase as distinguished from the phase of 
his more imperialist moments all present them- 
selves as essentially Conservators, as seekers after 
and preservers of the Normal Social Life. 

So, too, do Socialists of the William Morris type. 
The mind of William Morris was profoundly re- 
actionary. He hated the whole trend of later 
nineteenth - century modernism with the hatred 
natural to a man of considerable scholarship and 
intense esthetic sensibilities. His mind turned, 
exactly as Mr. Belloc's turns, to the finished and 
enriched Normal Social Life of western Europe in 
the middle ages, but unlike Mr. Belloc he believed 
that, given private ownership of land and the ordi- 
nary materials of life, there must necessarily be an 
aggregatory process, usury, expropriation, the de- 
velopment of an exploiting wealthy class. He be- 
lieved profit was the devil. His News from No- 
where pictures a communism that amounted in fact 
to little more than a system of private ownership 
of farms and trades without money or any buying 
and selling, in an atmosphere of geniality, generosity, 
and mutual helpfulness. Mr. Belloc, with a harder 
grip upon the realities of life, would have the widest 
distribution of proprietorship, with an alert demo- 
cratic government continually legislating against the 
protean reappearances of usury and accumulation, 
and attacking, breaking up, and redistributing any 
large unanticipated bodies of wealth that appeared. 
But both men are equally set towards the Normal 



Social Life, and equally enemies of the New. The 
so-called "socialist" land legislation of New Zea- 
land again is a tentative towards the realisation of 
the same school of ideas: great estates are to be 
automatically broken up, property is to be kept 
disseminated; a vast amount of political speaking 
and writing in America and throughout the world 
enforces one's impression of the wide-spread influ- 
ence of Conservator ideals. 

Of course it is inevitable that phases of prosperity 
for the Normal Social Life will lead to phases of 
overpopulation and scarcity, there will be occasional 
famines and occasional pestilences and plethoras of 
vitality leading to the blood-letting of war. I sup- 
pose Mr. Chesterton and Mr. Belloc at least have 
the courage of their opinions, and are prepared to 
say that such things always have been and always 
must be; they are part of the jolly rhythms of the 
human lot under the sun, and are to be taken with 
the harvest home and love-making and the peaceful 
ending of honoured lives as an integral part of the 
unending drama of mankind. 


Now opposed to the Conservators are all those 
who do not regard contemporary humanity as a 
final thing nor the Normal Social Life as the in- 
evitable basis of human continuity. They believe 
in secular change, in Progress, in a future for our 



species differing continually more from its past. 
On the whole, they are prepared for the gradual 
disentanglement of men from the Normal Social 
Life altogether, and they look for new ways of 
living and new methods of human association with 
a certain adventurous hopefulness. 

Now this second large class does not so much 
admit of subdivision into two as present a great 
variety of intermediaries between two extremes. I 
propose to give distinctive names to these extremes, 
with the very clear proviso that they are not an- 
tagonised, and that the great multitude of this 
second, anti-conservator class, this liberal, more 
novel class modern conditions have produced, falls 
between them, and is neither the one nor the other, 
but partaking in various degrees of both. On the 
one hand, then, we have that type of mind which is 
irritated by and distrustful of all collective pro- 
ceedings, which is profoundly distrustful of churches 
and states, which is expressed essentially by Indi- 
vidualism. The Individualist appears to regard the 
extensive disintegrations of the Normal Social Life 
that are going on to-day with an extreme hopeful- 
ness. Whatever is ugly or harsh in modern indus- 
trialism or in the novel social development of our 
time he seems to consider as a necessary aspect of 
a process of selection and survival, whose tendencies 
are on the whole inevitably satisfactory. The fu- 
ture welfare of man he believes in effect may be 
trusted to the spontaneous and planless activities 



of people of good-will, and nothing but state inter- 
vention can effectively impede its attainment. And 
curiously close to this extreme optimistic school in 
its moral quality and logical consequences, though 
contrasting widely in the sinister gloom of its spirit, 
is the socialism of Karl Marx. He declared the 
contemporary world to be a great process of financial 
aggrandisement and general expropriation, of in- 
creasing power for the few and of increasing hard- 
ship and misery for the many, a process that would 
go on until at last a crisis of unendurable tension 
would be reached and the social revolution ensue. 
The world had in fact to be worse before it could 
hope to be better. He contemplated a continually 
exacerbated Class War, with a millennium of ex- 
traordinary vagueness beyond as the reward of the 
victorious workers. His common quality with the 
Individualist lies in his repudiation of and antago- 
nism to plans and arrangements, in his belief in the 
overriding power of Law. Their common influence 
is the discouragement of collective understandings 
upon the basis of the existing state. Both converge 
in practice upon laissez faire. I would therefore 
lump them together under the term of Planless 
Progressives, and I would contrast with them those 
types which believe supremely in systematised 

The purposeful and systematic types, in common 
with the Individualist and Marxist, regard the 
Normal Social Life, for all the many thousands of 



years behind it, as a phase, and as a phase which is 
now passing, in human experience; and they are 
prepared for a future society that may be ultimately 
different right down to its essential relationships 
from the human past. But they also believe that 
the forces that have been assailing and disintegrat- 
ing the Normal Social Life, which have been, on the 
one hand, producing great accumulations of wealth, 
private freedom, and ill-defined, irresponsible and 
socially dangerous power, and, on the other, labour 
hordes, for the most part urban, without any 
property or outlook except continuous toil and 
anxiety, which in England have substituted a dis- 
chargeable agricultural labourer for the independent 
peasant almost completely, and in America seem to 
be arresting any general development of the Normal 
Social Life at all, are forces of wide and indefinite 
possibility that need to be controlled by a collective 
effort implying a collective design, deflected from 
merely injurious consequences and organised for a 
new human welfare upon new lines. They agree 
with that class of thinking I have distinguished as 
the Conservators in their recognition of vast con- 
temporary disorders and their denial of the essen- 
tial beneficence of change. But while the former 
seem to regard all novelty and innovation as a mere 
inundation to be met, banked back, defeated and 
survived, these more hopeful and adventurous 
minds would rather regard contemporary change as 
amounting on the whole to the tumultuous and 



almost catastrophic opening-up of possible new 
channels, the violent opportunity of vast deep new 
ways to great unprecedented human ends, ends 
that are neither feared nor evaded. 

Now, while the Conservators are continually 
talking of the "eternal facts" of human life and 
human nature and falling back upon a conception 
of permanence that is continually less true as our 
perspectives extend, these others are full of the 
conception of adaptation, of deliberate change in 
relationship and institution to meet changing needs. 
I would suggest for them, therefore, as opposed to 
the Conservators and contrasted with the Planless 
Progressives, the name of Constructors. They are 
the extreme right, as it were, while the Planless 
Progressives are the extreme left of Anti-Conserva- 
tor thought. 

I believe that these distinctions I have made 
cover practically every clear form of contemporary 
thinking and are a better and more helpful classi- 
fication than any now current. But of course nearly 
every individual nowadays is at least a little con- 
fused, and will be found to wobble in the course 
even of a brief discussion between one attitude and 
the other. This is a separation of opinions rather 
than of persons. And particularly that word So- 
cialism has become so vague and incoherent that 
for a man to call himself a socialist nowadays is to 
give no indication whatever whether he is a Con- 
servator like William Morris, a non-Constructor like 



Karl Marx, or a Constructor of any of half a dozen 
different schools. On the whole, however, modern 
socialism tends to fall towards the Conservative 
wing. So, too, do those various movements in 
England and Germany and France called variously 
nationalist and imperialist, and so do the American 
civic and social reformers. All these movements 
are agreed that the world is progressive towards a 
novel and unprecedented social order, not neces- 
sarily and fatally better, and that it needs organised 
and even institutional guidance thither, however 
much they differ as to the form that order should 

For the greater portion of a century socialism has 
been before the world, and it is not perhaps prema- 
ture to attempt a word or so of analysis of that 
great movement in the new terms we are here 
employing. The origins of the socialist idea were 
complex and multifarious, never at any time has 
it succeeded in separating out a statement of itself 
that was at once simple, complete, and acceptable 
to any large proportion of those who call themselves 
socialists. But always it has pointed to two or 
three definite things. The first of these is that 
unlimited freedoms of private property, with in- 
creasing facilities of exchange, combination, and 
aggrandisement, become more and more dangerous 
to human liberty by the expropriation and reduction 
to private wages slavery of larger and larger pro- 
portions of the population. Every school of social- 



ism states this in some more or less complete form, 
however divergent the remedial methods suggested 
by the different schools. And next every school of 
socialism accepts the concentration of management 
and property as necessary, and declines to con- 
template what is the typical Conservator remedy, 
its re-fragmentation. Accordingly it sets up not 
only against the large private owner, but against 
owners generally, the idea of a public proprietor, 
the State, which shall hold in the collective interest. 
But where the earlier socialisms stopped short and 
where to this day socialism is vague, divided, and 
unprepared, is upon the psychological problems 
involved in that new and largely unprecedented 
form of proprietorship, and upon the still more 
subtle problems of its attainment. These are vast, 
and profoundly, widely, and multitudinously diffi- 
cult problems, and it was natural and inevitable 
that the earlier socialists in the first enthusiasm of 
their idea should minimise these difficulties, pre- 
tend in the fulness of their faith that partial answers 
to objections were complete answers, and display 
the common weaknesses of honest propaganda the 
whole world over. Socialism is now old enough to 
know better. Few modern socialists present their 
faith as a complete panacea, and most are now 
setting to work in earnest upon these long-shirked 
preliminary problems of human interaction through 
which the vital problem of a collective head and 
brain can alone be approached. This present vol- 



time is almost entirely the work of writers, still for 
the most part calling themselves socialists, who 
have come to this stage of admission. 

A considerable proportion of the socialist move- 
ment remains, as it has been from the first, vaguely 
democratic. It points to collective ownership with 
no indication of the administrative scheme it con- 
templates to realise that intention. Necessarily it 
remains a formless claim without hands to take 
hold of the thing it desires. Indeed, in a large 
number of cases it is scarcely more than a resentful 
consciousness in the expropriated masses of social 
disintegration. It spends its force very largely in 
mere revenges upon property as such, attacks sim- 
ply destructive by reason of the absence of any 
definite ulterior scheme. It is an ill-equipped and 
planless belligerent who must destroy whatever he 
captures because he can neither use nor take away. 
A council of democratic socialists in possession of 
London would be as capable of an orderly and sus- 
tained administration as the Anabaptists in Mun- 
ster. But the discomforts and disorders of our 
present planless system do tend steadily to the 
development of this crude socialistic spirit in the 
mass of the proletariat; merely vindictive attacks 
upon property, sabotage, and the general strike are 
the logical and inevitable consequences of an un- 
controlled concentration of property in a few hands, 
and such things must and will go on, the deep 
undertone in the deliquescence of the Normal Social 



Life, until a new justice, a new scheme of compen- 
sations and satisfactions is attained, or the Normal 
Social Life re-emerges. 

Fabian socialism was the first systematic attempt 
to meet the fatal absence of administrative schemes 
in the earlier socialisms. It can scarcely be re- 
garded now as anything but an interesting failure, 
but a failure that has all the educational value of 
a first reconnaissance into unexplored territory. 
Starting from that attack on aggregating property, 
which is the common starting-point of all socialist 
projects, the Fabians, appalled at the obvious diffi- 
culties of honest confiscation and an open transfer 
from private to public hands, conceived the ex- 
traordinary idea of filching property for the state. 
A small body of people of extreme astuteness were 
to bring about the municipalisation and nationalisa- 
tion first of this great system of property and then 
of that, in a manner so artful that the millionaires 
were to wake up one morning at last, and behold, 
they would find themselves poor men ! For a decade 
or more Mr. Pease, Mr. Bernard Shaw, Mr. and Mrs. 
Sidney Webb, Mrs. Besant, Dr. Lawson Dodd, and 
their associates of the London Fabian Society did 
pit their wits and ability, or at any rate the wits 
and ability of their leisure moments, against the 
embattled capitalists of England and the world, in 
this complicated and delicate enterprise, without 
any apparent diminution of the larger accumula- 
tions of wealth. But in addition they developed 



another side of Fabianism, still more subtle, which 
professed to be a kind of restoration in kind of 
property to the proletariat, and in this direction 
they were more successful. A dexterous use, they 
decided, was to be made of the Poor Law, the public 
health authority, the education authority, and build- 
ing regulations and so forth, to create, so to speak, 
a communism of the lower levels. The mass of 
people whom the forces of change had expropriated 
were to be given a certain minimum of food, shelter, 
education, and sanitation, and this, the socialists 
were assured, could be used as the thin end of the 
wedge towards a complete communism. The mini- 
mum, once established, could obviously be raised 
continually until either everybody had what they 
needed or the resources of society gave out and set 
a limit to the process. 

This second method of attack brought the Fa- 
bian movement into co-operation w r ith a large amount 
of benevolent and constructive influence outside 
the socialist ranks altogether. Few wealthy peo- 
ple really grudge the poor a share of the neces- 
sities of life, and most are quite willing to assist in 
projects for such a distribution. But while these 
schemes naturally involved a very great amount of 
regulation and regimentation of the affairs of the 
poor, the Fabian Society fell away more and more 
from its associated proposals for the socialisation of 
the rich. The Fabian project changed steadily in 
character until at last it ceased to be in any sense 



antagonistic to wealth as such. If the lion did not 
exactly lie down with the lamb, at any rate the man 
with the gun and the alleged social mad dog re- 
turned very peaceably together. The Fabian hunt 
was up. 

Great financiers contributed generously to a 
School of Economics that had been founded with 
moneys left to the Fabian Society by earlier enthusi- 
asts for socialist propaganda and education. It 
remained for Mr. Belloc to point the moral of the 
whole development with a phrase, to note that 
Fabianism no longer aimed at the socialisation of 
the whole community, but only at the socialisation 
of the poor. The first really complete project for 
a new social order to replace the Normal Social 
Life was before the world, and this project was the 
compulsory regimentation of the workers and the 
complete state control of labour under a new plu- 
tocracy. Our present chaos was to be organised 
into a Servile State. 


Now to many of us who found the general spirit 
of the socialist movement at least hopeful and 
attractive and sympathetic, this would be an almost 
tragic conclusion, did we believe that Fabianism was 
anything more than the first experiment in plan- 
ning and one almost inevitably shallow and pre- 
sumptuous of the long series that may be neces- 



sary before a clear light breaks upon the road 
humanity must follow. But we decline to be forced 
by this one intellectual fiasco towards the laissez 
faire of the Individualist and the Marxist, or to 
accept the Normal Social Life with its atmosphere 
of hens and cows and dung, its incessant toil, its 
servitude of women, and its endless repetitions as 
the only tolerable life conceivable for the bulk of 
mankind as the ultimate life, that is, of mankind. 
With less arrogance and confidence, but it may be 
with a firmer faith than our predecessors of the 
Fabian essays, we declare that we believe a more 
spacious social order than any that exists or ever 
has existed, a Peace of the World in which there is 
an almost universal freedom, health, happiness, and 
well-being, and which contains the seeds of a still 
greater future, is possible to mankind. We propose 
to begin again with the recognition of those same 
difficulties the Fabians first realised. But we do 
not propose to organise a society, form a group for 
the control of the two chief political parties, bring 
about "socialism" in twenty-five years, or do any- 
thing beyond contributing in our place and measure 
to that constructive discussion whose real magni- 
tude we now begin to realise. 

We have faith in a possible future, but it is a 
faith that makes the quality of that future entirely 
dependent upon the strength and clearness of pur- 
pose that this present time can produce. We do 
not believe the greater social state is inevitable. 



Yet there is, we hold, a certain qualified inevi- 
tability about this greater social state because we 
believe any social state not affording a general con- 
tentment, a general freedom, and a general and 
* increasing fulness of life, must sooner or later col- 
lapse and disintegrate again, and revert more or 
less completely to the Normal Social Life, and be- 
cause we believe the Normal Social Life is itself 
thick-sown with the seeds of fresh beginnings. The 
Normal Social Life has never at any time been 
absolutely permanent, always it has carried within 
itself the germs of enterprise and adventure and 
exchanges that finally attack its stability. The 
superimposed social order of to-day, such as it is, 
with its huge development of expropriated labour, 
and the schemes of the later Fabians to fix this 
state of affairs in an organised form and render it 
plausibly tolerable, seem also doomed to accumulate 
catastrophic tensions. Bureaucratic schemes for 
establishing the regular lifelong subordination of 
a labouring class, enlivened though they may be 
by frequent inspection, disciplinary treatment dur- 
ing seasons of unemployment, compulsory tem- 
perance, free medical attendance, and a cheap and 
shallow elementary education, fail to satisfy the 
restless cravings in the heart of man. They are 
cravings that even the baffling methods of the most 
ingeniously worked Conciliation Boards cannot per- 
manently restrain. The drift of any Servile State 
must be towards a class revolt, paralysing sabotage, 



and a general strike. The more rigid and complete 
the Servile State becomes, the more thorough will 
be its ultimate failure. Its fate is decay or explo- 
sion. From its debris we shall either revert to the 
Normal Social Life and begin again the long strug- 
gle towards that ampler, happier, juster arrangement 
of human affairs which we of this book, at any rate, 
believe to be possible, or we shall pass into the 
twilight of mankind. 

This greater social life we put, then, as the only 
real alternative to the Normal Social Life from which 
man is continually escaping. For it we do not 
propose to use the expressions the "socialist state" 
or "socialism," because we believe those terms have 
now by constant confused use become so battered 
and bent and discoloured by irrelevant associations 
as to be rather misleading than expressive. We 
propose to use the term The Great State to express 
this ideal of a social system no longer localised, no 
longer immediately tied to and conditioned by the 
cultivation of the land, world-wide in its interests 
and outlook and catholic in its tolerance and sym- 
pathy, a system of great individual freedom with a 
universal understanding among its citizens of a 
collective thought and purpose. 

Now the difficulties that lie in the way of humanity 
in its complex and toilsome journey through the 
coming centuries towards this Great State are fun- 
damentally difficulties of adaptation and adjust- 
ment. To no conceivable social state is man in- 



herently fitted: he is a creature of jealousy and 
suspicion, unstable, restless, acquisitive, aggressive, 
intractible, and of a most subtle and nimble dis- 
honesty. Moreover, he is imaginative, adventurous, 
and inventive. His nature and instincts are as 
much in conflict with the necessary restrictions and 
subjugation of the Normal Social Life as they are 
likely to be with any other social net that necessity 
may weave about him. But the Normal Social 
Life had this advantage, that it has a vast accu- 
mulated moral tradition and a minutely worked-out 
material method. All the fundamental institutions 
have arisen in relation to it and are adapted to its 
conditions. To revert to it after any phase of 
social chaos and distress is and will continue for 
many years to be the path of least resistance for 
perplexed humanity. 

Our conception of the Great State, on the other 
hand, is still altogether unsubstantial. It is a project 
as dreamlike to-day as electric lighting, electric 
traction, or aviation would have been in the year 
1850. In 1850 a man reasonably conversant with 
the physical science of his time could have declared 
with a very considerable confidence that, given a 
certain measure of persistence and social security, 
these things were more likely to be attained than 
not in the course of the next century. But such a 
prophecy was conditional on the preliminary accu- 
mulation of a considerable amount of knowledge, 
on many experiments and failures. Had the world 



of 1850, by some wave of impulse, placed all its 
resources in the hands of the ablest scientific man 
alive, and asked him to produce a practicable pay- 
ing electric vehicle before 1852, he would have at 
best produced some clumsy, curious toy, or more 
probably failed altogether ; and, similarly, if the whole 
population of the world came to the present writers 
and promised meekly to do whatever it was told, 
we should find ourselves still very largely at a loss 
in our projects for a millennium. Yet just as 
nearly every man at work upon Voltaic electricity 
in 1850 knew that he was preparing for electric 
traction, so do we know that we are, with a whole 
row of unsolved problems before us, working to- 
wards the Great State. 

Let us briefly recapitulate the main problems 
which have to be attacked in the attempt to realise 
the outline of the Great State. At the base of the 
whole order there must be some method of agri- 
cultural production, and if the agricultural labourer 
and cottager and the ancient life of the small house- 
holder on the holding, a life laborious, prolific, illit- 
erate, limited, and in immediate contact with the 
land used, is to recede and disappear, it must recede 
and disappear before methods upon a much larger 
scale, employing wholesale machinery and involving 
great economies. It is alleged by modern writers 
that the permanent residence of the cultivator in 
close relation to his ground is a legacy from the days 
of cumbrous and expensive transit, that the great 



proportion of farm work is seasonal, and that a 
migration to and fro between rural and urban con- 
ditions would be entirely practicable in a largely 
planned community. The agricultural population 
could move out of town into an open-air life as the 
spring approached, and return for spending, pleasure, 
and education as the days shortened. Already 
something of this sort occurs under extremely un- 
favourable conditions in the movement of the fruit 
and hop pickers from the east end of London into 
Kent, but that is a mere hint of the extended picnic 
which a broadly planned cultivation might afford. 
A fully developed civilisation employing ma.chines 
in the hands of highly skilled men will minimise 
toil to the very utmost, no man will shove where a 
machine can shove, or carry where a machine can 
carry; but there will remain, more particularly in 
the summer, a vast amount of hand operations, 
invigorating and even attractive to the urban popu- 
lation. Given short hours, good pay, and all the 
jolly amusement in the evening camp that a free, 
happy, and intelligent people will develop for them- 
selves, and there will be little difficulty about this 
particular class of work to differentiate it from any 
other sort of necessary labour. 

One passes, therefore, with no definite transition 
from the root problem of agricultural production in the 
Great State to the wider problem of labour in general. 

A glance at the country-side conjures up a picture 
of extensive tracts being cultivated on a wholesale 



scale, of skilled men directing great ploughing, sow- 
ing, and reaping plants, steering cattle and sheep 
about carefully designed enclosures, constructing 
channels and guiding sewage towards its proper 
destination on the fields, and then of added crowds 
of genial people coming out to spray trees and plants, 
pick and sort and pack fruits. But who are these 
people? Why are they in particular doing this for 
the community? Is our Great State still to have a 
majority of people glad to do commonplace work 
for mediocre wages, and will there be other individuals 
who will ride by on the roads, sympathetically no doubt, 
but with a secret sense of superiority? So one opens 
the general problem of the organisation for labour. 

I am careful here to write "for labour" and not "of 
Labour," because it is entirely against the spirit of 
the Great State that any section of the people should 
be set aside as a class to do most of the monotonous, 
laborious, and uneventful things for the community. 
That is practically the present arrangement, and 
that, with a quickened sense of the need of break- 
ing people in to such a life, is the ideal of the bu- 
reaucratic Servile State to which in common with 
the Conservators we are bitterly opposed. And 
here I know we are at our most difficult, most 
speculative, and most revolutionary point. We who 
look to the Great State as the present aim of human 
progress believe a state may solve its economic 
problem without any section whatever of the com- 
munity being condemned to lifelong labour. And 



contemporary events, the phenomena of recent 
strikes, the phenomena of sabotage carry out the 
suggestion that in a community where nearly every 
one reads extensively, travels about, sees the charm 
and variety in the lives of prosperous and leisurely 
people, no class is going to submit permanently to 
modern labour conditions without extreme resist- 
ance, even after the most elaborate Labour Con- 
ciliation schemes and social minima are established. 
Things are altogether too stimulating to the imagi- 
nation nowadays. Of all impossible social dreams 
that belief in tranquillised and submissive and 
virtuous Labour is the wildest of all. No sort of 
modern men will stand it. They will as a class do 
any vivid and disastrous thing rather than stand it. 
Even the illiterate peasant will only endure lifelong 
toil under the stimulus of private ownership and 
with the consolations of religion; and the typical 
modern worker has neither the one nor the other. 
For a time, indeed, for a generation or so even, a 
labour mass may be fooled or coerced, but in the 
end it will break out against its subjection even if 
it breaks out to a general social catastrophe. 

We have, in fact, to invent for the Great State, 
if we are to suppose any Great State at all, an eco- 
nomic method without any specific labour class. 
If we cannot do so, we had better throw ourselves 
in with the conservators forthwith, for they are 
right and we are absurd. Adhesion to the concep- 
tion of the Great State involves adhesion to the 



belief that the amount of regular labour, skilled and 
unskilled, required to produce everything necessary 
for every one living in its highly elaborate civilisa- 
tion may, under modern conditions, with the help 
of scientific economy and power-producing ma- 
chinery, be reduced to so small a number of working 
hours per head in proportion to the average life of 
the citizen, as to be met as regards the greater 
moiety of it by the payment of wages over and 
above the gratuitous share of each individual in 
the general output; and as regards the residue, a 
residue of rough, disagreeable, and monotonous 
operations, by some form of conscription, which will 
devote a year, let us say, of each person's life to the 
public service. If we reflect that in the contempo- 
rary state there is already food, shelter, and cloth- 
ing of a sort for every one, in spite of the fact that 
enormous numbers of people do no productive work 
at all because they are too well off, that great num- 
bers are out of work, great numbers by bad nutrition 
and training incapable of work, and that an enormous 
amount of the work actually done is the overlapping 
production of competitive trade and work, upon such 
politically necessary but socially useless things as 
Dreadnoughts, it becomes clear that the absolutely 
unavoidable labour in a modern community and its 
ratio to the available vitality must be of very small 
account indeed. But all this has still to be worked 
out even in the most general terms. An intelligent 
science of Economics should afford standards and 



technicalities and systematised facts upon which 
to base an estimate. The point was raised a quarter 
of a century ago by Morris in his News from Nowhere, 
and indeed it was already discussed by More in his 
Utopia. Our contemporary economics is, however, 
still a foolish, pretentious pseudo-science, a fester- 
ing mass of assumptions about buying and selling and 
wages-paying, and one would as soon consult Bradshaw 
or the works of Dumas as our orthodox professors of 
Economics for any light upon this fundamental matter. 
Moreover, we believe that there is a real dispo- 
sition to work in human beings, and that in a well- 
equipped community, in which no one was under an 
unavoidable urgency to work, the greater proportion 
of productive operations could be made sufficiently 
attractive to make them desirable occupations. As 
for the irreducible residue of undesirable toil, I owe 
to my friend the late Professor William James this 
suggestion of a general conscription and a period of 
public service for every one, a suggestion which 
greatly occupied his thoughts during the last years 
of his life. He was profoundly convinced of the 
high educational and disciplinary value of universal 
compulsory military service, and of the need of 
something more than a sentimental ideal of duty in 
public life. He would have had the whole popula- 
tion taught in the schools and prepared for this 
year (or whatever period it had to be) of patient 
and heroic labour, the men for the mines, the fish- 
eries, the sanitary services, railway routine, the 



women for hospital, and perhaps educational work, 
and so forth. He believed such a service would perme- 
ate the whole state with a sense of civic obligation. . . . 

But behind all these conceivable triumphs of 
scientific adjustment and direction lies the infinitely 
greater difficulty on our way to the Great State, 
the difficulty of direction. What sort of people are 
going to distribute the work of the community, de- 
cide what is or is not to be done, determine wages, 
initiate enterprises ; and under what sort of criticism, 
checks, and controls are they going to do this delicate 
and extensive work ? With this we open the whole prob- 
lem of government, administration, and officialdom. 

The Marxist and the democratic socialist gen- 
erally shirk this riddle altogether; the Fabian con- 
ception of a bureaucracy, official to the extent of 
being a distinct class and cult, exists only as a 
starting-point for healthy repudiations. Whatever 
else may be worked out in the subtler answers our 
later time prepares, nothing can be clearer than 
that the necessary machinery of government must 
be elaborately organised to prevent the develop- 
ment of a managing caste, in permanent conspiracy, 
tacit or expressed, against the normal man. Quite 
apart from the danger of unsympathetic and fatally 
irritating government, there can be little or no 
doubt that the method of making men officials for 
life is quite the worst way of getting official duties 
done. Officialdom is a species of incompetence. 
The rather priggish, timid, teachable and well- 



behaved sort of boy who is attracted by the pros- 
pect of assured income and a pension to win his 
way into the civil service, and who then by varied 
assiduities rises to a sort of timidly vindictive im- 
portance, is the last person to whom we would 
willingly intrust the vital interests of a nation. We 
want people who know about life at large, who will 
come to the public service seasoned by experience, 
not people who have specialised and acquired that 
sort of knowledge which is called, in much the same 
spirit of qualification as one speaks of German Sil- 
ver, Expert Knowledge. It is clear our public ser- 
vants and officials must be so only for their periods 
of service. They must be taught by life, and not 
"trained" by pedagogues. In every continuing job 
there is a time when one is crude and blundering, 
a time, the best time, when one is full of the fresh- 
ness and happiness of doing well, and a time when 
routine has largely replaced the stimulus of novelty. 
The Great State will, I feel convinced, regard 
changes in occupation as a proper circumstance in 
the life of every citizen ; it will value a certain ama- 
teurishness in its service, and prefer it to the trite 
omniscience of the stale official. 

And since the Fabian socialists have created a 
wide-spread belief that in their projected state every 
man will be necessarily a public servant or a public 
pupil because the state will be the only employer 
and the only educator, it is necessary to point out 
that the Great State presupposes neither the one 



nor the other. It is a form of liberty and not a 
form of enslavement. We agree with the bolder 
forms of socialism in supposing an initial proprie- 
tary independence in every citizen. The citizen is 
a shareholder in the state. Above that and after 
that, he works if he chooses. But if he likes to 
live on his minimum and do nothing though such 
a type of character is scarcely conceivable he can. 
His earning is his own surplus. Above the basal 
economics of the Great State we assume with con- 
fidence there will be a huge surplus of free spending 
upon extra-collective ends. Public organisations, 
for example, may distribute impartially and possi- 
bly even print and make ink and paper for the news- 
papers in the Great State, but they will certainly 
not own them. Only doctrine-driven men have ever 
ventured to think they would. Nor will the state con- 
trol writers and artists, for example, nor the stage 
though it may build and own theatres the tailor, 
the dressmaker, the restaurant cook, an enormous mul- 
titude of other busy workers-for-preferences. In the 
Great State of the future, as in the life of the more 
prosperous classes of to-day, the greater proportion 
of occupations and activities will be private and free. 
I would like to underline in the most emphatic 
way that it is possible to have this Great State, 
essentially socialistic, owning and running the land 
and all the great public services, sustaining every- 
body in absolute freedom at a certain minimum of 
comfort and well-being, and still leaving most of 



the interests, amusements, and adornments of the 
individual life, and all sorts of collective concerns, 
social and political discussion, religious worship, 
philosophy, and the like to the free personal initia- 
tives of entirely unofficial people. 

This still leaves the problem of systematic knowl- 
edge and research, and all the associated problems 
of aesthetic, moral, and intellectual initiative to be 
worked out in detail; but at least it dispels the 
nightmare of a collective mind organised as a 
branch of the civil service, with authors, critics, 
artists, scientific investigators appointed in a phrensy 
of wire-pulling as nowadays the British state ap- 
points its bishops for the care of its collective soul. 

I will not venture here to invade the province of 
my colleagues in the treatment of the Great State in 
its relation to individual education, in the discussion 
of the methods by means of which the accumulating 
results of the free activities of the free collective 
mind will be brought to bear upon the development 
of the young citizen, nor will I do more than point 
out our present extreme ignorance and indecision 
upon those two closely correlated problems, the 
problem of family organisation and the problem of 
women's freedom. In the Normal Social Life the 
position of women is easily defined. They are sub- 
ordinated but important. The citizenship rests 
with the man, and the woman's relation to the com- 
munity as a whole is through a man. But within 
that limitation her functions as mother, wife, and 



home-maker are cardinal. It is one of the entirely 
unforeseen consequences that have arisen from the 
decay of the Normal Social Life and its autonomous 
home that great numbers of women while still sub- 
ordinate have become profoundly unimportant. 
They have ceased to a very large extent to bear 
children, they have dropped most of their home- 
making arts, they no longer nurse nor educate such 
children as they have, and they have taken on no 
new functions that compensate for these dwindling 
activities of the domestic interior. That subjuga- 
tion which is a vital condition to the Normal Social 
Life does not seem to be necessary to the Great 
State. It may or it may not be necessary. And 
here we enter upon the most difficult of all our 
problems. The whole spirit of the Great State is 
against any avoidable subjugation; but the whole 
spirit of that science which will animate the Great 
State forbids us to ignore woman's functional and 
temperamental differences. A new status has still 
to be invented for women, a Feminine Citizenship 
differing in certain respects from the normal mascu- 
line citizenship. Its conditions remain to be worked 
out. We have indeed to work out an entire new 
system of relations between men and women, that 
will be free from servitude, aggression, provocation, 
or parasitism. The public Endowment of Mother- 
hood as such may perhaps be the first broad sug- 
gestion of the quality of this new status. A new 
type of family, a mutual alliance in the place of a 



subjugation, is perhaps the most startling of all the 
conceptions which confront us directly we turn 
ourselves definitely towards the Great State. 

And as our conception of the Great State grows, 
so we shall begin to realise the nature of the problem 
of transition, the problem of what we may best do 
in the confusion of the present time to elucidate and 
render practicable this new phase of human organ- 
isation. Of one thing there can be no doubt, that 
whatever increases thought and knowledge moves 
towards our goal; and equally certain is it that 
nothing leads thither that tampers with the free- 
dom of spirit, the independence of soul in common 
men and women. In many directions, therefore, the 
believer in the Great State will display a jealous 
watchfulness of contemporary developments rather 
than a premature constructiveness. We must watch 
wealth; but quite as necessary it is to watch the 
legislator, who mistakes propaganda for progress 
and class exasperation to satisfy class vindictive- 
ness for construction. Supremely important is it 
to keep discussion open, to tolerate no limitation on 
the freedom of speech, writing, art and book dis- 
tribution, and to sustain the utmost liberty of criti- 
cism upon all contemporary institutions and processes. 

This briefly is the programme of problems and 
effort to which this idea of the Great State, as the 
goal of contemporary progress, directs our minds. 
My colleagues deal more particularly with various 
aspects of this general proposal. 

4 45 


I append a diagram which shows compactly the 
gist of the preceding chapter. 


produces an increasing surplus of energy and opportunity, more 
particularly under modern conditions of scientific organisation 
and power production; and this through the operation of rent and 
of usury generally tends to 

(a) release and (b) expropriate 

an increasing proportion of the population to become: 


under no urgent compulsion 

to work 


divorced from the land and liv- 
ing upon uncertain wages 
i |2 3 

which may become 
the whole community 
working under vari- 
ous motives and in- 
ducements, but not 
constantly, nor per- 
manently, nor un- 





THE dividing line which separates the Country 
from the Town, the countryman from the towns- 
man, is a comparatively recent phenomenon in 
human affairs. Almost to the end of the eighteenth 
century except in a very few great cities, such as 
London, Rome, Constantinople, and Paris, for ex- 
ample there were not many members of a civilised 
State who were entirely divorced from a share in 
the work and the pleasures of the fields and woods. 
The great towns of the Middle Ages and the earlier 
Modern Period were of a size that would now be 
entitled to the name of little market towns, except 
for the few of the rank exampled above. As for 
their inhabitants, take the case of the woollen- 
spinners when they began to build up England's 
industrial supremacy: they were at first merely an 
agricultural peasantry who occupied their spare 
time and the time of the unemployed members of 
their families in spinning in the rooms and sheds 
around their cottages. They were much more en- 
titled to the name of agriculturists than the descrip- 



tion of industrial artisans. But this is not the place 
for a study of the history of the Country-side, suffice 
it to sum up the matter by a specific illustration; 
the town of Warwick, as it stands to-day, is a fairly 
typical example of the normal towns of the earlier 
period; while Manchester or Birmingham is a typi- 
cal city of modern life. The radical distinctions 
between the two classes are fairly obvious; and a 
clear conception of this fundamental fact of the 
modern city will be a convenient starting-point for 
our examination of the possibilities of country life 
under the ideal conditions of the Great State. 

It will be for others to discuss the phenomena of 
the intervening period of transition from the present 
to the future: it is the business of this essay to 
describe the Country as it visualises itself to the 
mind of one who accepts and hopes for the Great 
State as the most probable and most desirable con- 
dition of human society, as it will one day be organ- 
ised. It will be a frankly ideal presentation of the 
Country-side of the Great State. But although it 
will be a statement of an ideal place, it does not 
necessarily follow that it is based on phantoms of 
the imagination. On the contrary, we idealists of 
the Great State claim that our visions are founded 
on a substantial ground-work of hard, material 
facts; we reach our ideal by rational conclusions 
from things which already exist. We argue from 
the known to the unknown. 

At the beginning of this statement it seems very 



clear that no rational ideal can admit the possibility 
of the continued existence of such an unsightly 
social sore as Manchester or Liverpool or Newcastle 
or the suburbs of London or its East End. There 
will, of course, be no room in the Great State for 
towns of factories belching forth yellow fog; there 
will be no place for congested areas of slums. But 
our rebellion will go further than this: for the fresh 
air of the country, with its quiet sunshine and open 
fields, with its flowers and birds, is all such a 
vital part of a rational human life that no civilised 
beings will be content to be buried in the middle of 
great cities, however healthy they may be made. 
Perhaps the most fundamental change in the ideal 
Great State will be the abolition of the overswollen 
town and the revival of the saner towns of earlier 
days. There will be fewer enormous cities like 
New York and Chicago, there will be more boroughs 
of the size of Ipswich, Chester, Reading, and York. 
The radical distinction between the Country and 
the Town will have disappeared. 

This change will be rendered possible because the 
means of transit railways, trams, light-railways, 
and motor traction, perhaps aeroplanes or some- 
thing better will be so vastly improved that there 
will be no need for people to herd together in closely 
packed groups. When it is a simple matter for the 
citizens to move themselves and their belongings 
and the produce of their labour from one point to 
another, almost the whole advantage of town segre- 


gation will vanish. The railways and trams and 
cars will then be communal and free services, just 
as the roads are communal and free to-day. The 
waste of innumerable ticket-collectors and booking- 
clerks will be saved: the citizens of the Great State 
will regard transit as a commonplace, which they will 
provide without stint and encourage every one to 
use without a moment's hesitation. 

But there may be some readers who are asking 
what all this concerning towns has to do in an essay 
on the Country. It has everything to do with the 
subject, for we cannot know what will be Country 
until we have decided what will belong to the Town. 
If the population is to be distributed in a larger 
number of smaller-sized towns, instead of in the 
huge towns as at present, then it is clear that our 
conception of the Country is materially altered by 
the fact that there will not be many parts of the 
State which are very distant from a town. Here 
we reach an all-important factor in the problem. 
There will be no need in the Great State for any 
rural dwellers to be utterly divorced from those 
unlimited advantages of civilised life which can only 
be obtained by intercourse with a centralised col- 
lection of human activities at one spot. 

Town life has brought many evils in its train; 
but there are certain invaluable advantages which 
only the town segregation can procure. For ex- 
ample, a well-equipped opera-house, a theatre, a 
concert-hall; art galleries and museums; libraries, 



swimming-baths; specialised medical advice and 
special instruction; facilities for higher education; 
large shops, with a full variety of choice for their 
customers; the invigorating interchange of the so- 
cial intercourse of large gatherings; all these things 
demand a town of a fairly extensive size for their 
accomplishment. The torpor of the rural dwellers 
of to-day is largely the consequence of having to 
do without these advantages of the city: and they 
will remain torpid until some method is discovered 
of placing them within the reach of the countryman 
and woman. The countryman of the Great State 
will always be within easy reach of the town. In- 
deed, when we consider the organisation of the 
agricultural work of this Great State it will seem 
probable that comparatively few people will live 
outside the town. This agricultural business we 
will now consider in some detail; after which we 
shall be the better able to view the picture as a 

After all, the main purpose of the country, in 
the material sense at least, is to pasture beasts and 
grow corn and fruits and vegetables and trees. It 
is the manufacturing place of our food: and the 
people who live there are the producers of animal 
and vegetable wealth. The country must be or- 
ganised and worked with that end in view. No 
one who knows anything of the technicalities of 
farming will deny that this work of producing agri- 
cultural wealth is done exceedingly inefficiently to- 



day, in England at least. In spite of all the teach- 
ing of science, in spite of all the actual practice of 
many foreign nations, we are still farming our land 
after the manner of rule-of-thumb rustics. Our 
large farmers are content with a mere minimum of 
produce which will pay a minimum interest on the 
capital expended; our small holders are trying to 
extract a larger yield by methods which are little 
better than the working of a village allotment in 
a man's evening hours. There are many farmers 
who are doing sufficiently well to pay their land- 
lords' rent, with enough over to give themselves a 
comfortable living, but entirely ignoring the fact 
that the nation is losing all the surplus wealth which 
might be grown if they had the knowledge and the 
energy. Our small holders are struggling along 
often going under as isolated units, when every 
Continental country is an object-lesson of the truth 
that small holdings are only really successful when 
there is close co-operation between the farmers. 

But the Great State will have got beyond any- 
thing so unscientific as small holdings or so tran- 
sitory as larger farmers bound down by the will of 
rent-exacting landlords. Both large and small 
farmers are as uneconomical and mediaeval as is 
the village craftsman when compared with the 
great modern industrial companies and trusts. 
There is, indeed, a better case for the small crafts- 
man in industry than there is for the small farmer 
in agricultural organisation. The small holding 



which is part of a complicated system of co-opera- 
tion and that is its only chance of real success 
is, in fact, not strictly speaking a small holding at 
all in any more reality than one field of a large 
farm is a small holding. Everything about co- 
operative farming goes to show that there is no 
good reason why the organisation should stop short 
at the marketing of the produce or the buying of 
the seeds and implements. If it is well to co-operate 
in these ways, it is also well to co-operate in the 
production of the goods. And when small holders 
co-operate in the management of their farms, then, 
to all intents and purposes, they are a large, united 

Under the rule of the Great State, the landlord 
and the small and large private farmers will no 
longer exist. The State will own the land, and it 
will not make itself ridiculous by letting it out in 
petty patches, to be farmed on the scale that one 
would run a village general-shop. It will, on the 
contrary, be divided up into convenient tracts, of 
a size determined by the nature of the soil and the 
kind of produce to be grown; and these will be 
worked as State farms under the control of a di- 
rector and assistants, who are highly trained in the 
latest science and art of their department of knowl- 
edge. Farming will be a profession of the same 
rank as medicine, public administration, and edu- 
cation. The ideal of these agriculturalists will be 
to produce as much wealth per acre as the soil is 



capable of yielding. The farm-workers, likewise, 
will be specially trained in their duties by a course 
of apprenticeship on the land. The idea of getting 
good farming out of untrained farmers and un- 
skilled labourers will be thought of as a comical 
tradition of the past. 

The vast difference between the present amateur 
farmers and the professionals we contemplate for 
the future, will require some consideration before 
it is grasped by the reader who does not know 
the ridiculous inefficiency of present agricultural 
methods. It is not by any means the fault of the 
farmers and landlords: they are in the grip of a 
thoroughly bad system. They have to compete 
against well-organised co-operating Danes, or against 
United States farmers who have great tracts of land 
at their disposal without urgent need for careful 
economy of every rood. The farmers of to-day are 
content if they can get a living for themselves; it 
is not part of their desires to produce as much agri- 
cultural wealth as their land is capable of growing. 
Again, if some foreign competitors can grow corn 
or potatoes more cheaply than they can be grown in 
England, then the private farmer is compelled to 
allow his land to remain proportionately unculti- 
vated. Whereas, under the system of State farms, 
the land would be cultivated to its utmost capacity, 
until some other use was found for the men and land. 
It is always wasteful to allow men and land to 
stand idle. 



The Great State will very probably not grow corn 
in England at all, for it will have under its control 
more suitable land as it is now found in Canada or 
India. Here we come across a practical advantage 
of the Great State system namely, it has, or will 
have, a large variety of choice within its own domain; 
it will not be compelled to grow potatoes on a few 
feet of rock as do the west-coast peasants of Ireland. 
It is this ridiculous economic waste which is the 
dire penalty of the highly localised small-farm sys- 
tem. The State Farm Board will not waste its 
time cultivating bare rocks or inferior soil until it 
has brought its richest soil to its fullest fruition; it 
will allot each crop to the locality most suitable in 
the area. It will grow its corn in the vast plains of 
the great continents, for corn can be easily shipped 
from the other end of the world to its consumers. 
On the other hand, every large town may have its 
milk farm and its vegetable gardens just outside its 
boundaries; for milk and vegetables are not easily 
carried without loss of freshness. But even in these 
latter departments it is probable that improved 
facilities of transit will make the highly specialised 
milk farm or potato farm on the most suitable 
soil supplying a large number of towns and large 
tracts of country, a reasonable possibility. 

Certainly, this present niggling system of little 
holdings, or even bigger farms, all starved for want 
of capital and compelled to use the wasteful methods 
that come from small production, all this will be 



swept away contemptuously by a State Farm 
Board which sets out to do its work under the rules 
of science and common sense. The most carefully 
organised co-operative farm becomes a mediaeval 
method when compared with the larger schemes of 
the Great State. Agricultural organisation will not 
be squeezed within the limits of small local necessi- 
ties and the stinted capital of needy men. It will 
be managed with all the scope and all the national 
resources at the disposal of a great state department. 
The Great State agriculture will be to the agricul- 
ture of to-day what the Oil Trust is to the oil-shop 
in the back streets of a slum district : only the profits 
will go to the whole community instead of into the 
pockets of a Mr. Rockefeller. 

Needless to say, the farm-labourer will be alto- 
gether a different person from the man of to-day. 
His wages will not be based on a standard of what 
is just possible for the minimum of a rigidly simple 
country life. He will take an equal share with his 
fellow-citizens of the towns in the standard of living 
which the community has reached. It is not toler- 
able to us to suppose that there should be members 
of the community doomed year after year to sacri- 
fice their leisure, the larger interests, and all the 
variety of life in order that their fellows can be 
free. Yet that is the position of the agricultural 
workers to-day; they are cut off from the full ad- 
vantages of civilised life, pushed into a corner, and 
underpaid; they are the serfs of society. The es- 



sence of modern culture is the possibility of contact 
with a large amount of varied human fellowship. 
It is absurd to say that the solitary countryman 
shut off from the main currents of social develop- 
ments is as good a man as the best product of the 
more complex life of the towns. The rustic may be 
as good a man or far better than the slum dweller: 
but then the slum dweller is not the product of the 
advantages of the town; he is, rather, the result of 
all its unnecessary failure. There is a great deal of 
absurd sentiment talked of the charming "simpli- 
city" of the peasant. We are not out to cultivate 
"charming simplicity" "charming" chiefly to the 
patronising observer; we want able and adaptable 

And to make a civilised man of himself, the agri- 
culturalist must have full leisure to get away from 
the working monotony of his own trade. The most 
satisfactory of trades must become narrowing if they 
absorb the whole of life. A portrait-painter or a 
poet who gave his whole time to painting or poesy 
would be a poor stunted creature, and his art a poor 
stunted art. And so likewise with the farmer. A 
rural life, with all its freshness, is not a complete 
life: it lacks the variety of a fully developed exist- 
ence. A man must no more spend his whole time with 
bent back, hoeing or digging from dawn to dusk, 
than a cotton-spinner should spend all his waking 
hours at his loom. When his reasonable hours of 
labour are ended, the farm- worker must be able to 



reach all the culture and stimulus which are within 
the reach of the dweller in the complex town. 

We have said that the normal town of the Great 
State will probably be of between fifty and sixty 
thousand inhabitants. That will be large enough 
to make social organisation in the way of theatres 
and libraries, and so on, quite possible, while there 
will be no interminable circle of suburbs to cut off 
the citizens from the fresh country. But the point 
which concerns us here is that the rural dweller will 
be, by an efficient transit system, in easy reach of 
these towns. As we have also suggested, the agri- 
cultural workers may easily live in the towns; a 
very slight care in the organisation of light railways 
and motors may enable them to reach their fields 
and return to the towns for the night. However, 
the village may also remain under the Great State 
system; many people may still prefer to live in 
little groups of a few hundreds rather than in a 
town, however fresh and clean. Still fewer may 
prefer the isolated houses; and these will have the 
opportunity to act as guardians of the outlying crops 
and herds. But all, villages or solitary cottagers, 
will possess the leisure and the facilities for reach- 
ing the complex town when they please to go thither. 
The general rule will probably be that most of the 
agricultural population will live in the "big" towns; 
the rest will be scattered in fairly large villages within 
easy reach of those towns. Here and there, for those 
who have a passion for retirement, will be lonely houses. 



One factor which is worth noting in passing is the 
fact that, under the big-scale agriculture of the Great 
State, work will not be done as it is to-day when it 
is customary to see solitary workers in the fields; 
for under the centralised system, with plenty of 
workers for the job and systematic organisation 
taking the place of the present haphazard methods, 
it will be much more possible for the labour to be 
done by groups of workers which will give fellow- 
ship, instead of the dreary solitude which is so dead- 
ening to many minds; also there will be better 
facilities for controlling the work by expert overseers. 

But there is another aspect from which we must 
view the Country-side of the Great State. So far 
we have seen that the rural dwellers will tend to 
collect in the towns as their permanent dwelling- 
place or as the habitual haunt of their leisure. 
There will be a corresponding approach from the 
other side: the town artisans will tend to come out 
into the country towns and villages as the mon- 
strous city of the present breaks up from sheer 
discomfort and uselessness. The public industrial 
department of the Great State will not like the 
callous companies and employers of to-day plant 
its factories and workshops in the midst of over- 
grown cities, when the work can be as efficiently 
done within reach of fresh air and pleasant recrea- 
tion. To-day it may pay the employing classes to 
huddle all their factories together and build all their 
workers' dwellings in long strings of endless streets. 



But when an educated democracy demands some- 
thing better, its State transit department will find 
the organisation of the carrying trade a matter of 
comparative simplicity. When the community works 
to live and does not live to work, the first considera- 
tion will be to select a spot where men and women 
can dwell with the greatest satisfaction to them- 
selves; and few people are likely to find solace in 
paved streets which lead to other paved streets 
and so on for miles the fate of the Londoner and 
the dwellers in Manchester. So the factory and 
workshop and mill will be placed in the reasonably 
sized towns. They may even migrate to the vil- 
lage. In this matter we must remember that the 
increased use of electricity as a motive power will 
render it possible to have power supplied "on tap" 
at great distances from the generating stations, 
just as gas and water are now supplied. Electric- 
ity in the days of the Great State will not be the 
monopoly of the towns. There will be no need to 
have a smoking stack of factory chimneys in every 
village which possesses a factory. 

There is another probable development to con- 
sider. The industrial artisan and the agricultural 
worker will not necessarily be two distinct persons. 
The bulk of the work on the fields is seasonal; and 
the winter, on the whole, is a slack time for farmers. 
A well-organised agricultural system will get much 
of its work done at limited periods, leaving its 
workers free to remain in the towns or villages dur- 



ing the darker months of the year. The man who 
makes hay and digs potatoes will probably have a 
town craft for example, boot-making or wood- 
work or house-decorating for a winter occupation, 
just as the town artisans will supply the extra hands 
to allow the countrymen to keep their reasonable 
hours during the stress of harvesting. 

Indeed, in the Great State the Town and the 
Country will be much more closely allied than they 
are now. They will interchange their work and 
their pleasures. It is only the private employer 
who cannot manage to admit a fluid exchange in 
his system. The public officials of the Great State 
will have the names of the whole of the workers on 
their lists; and one can take the place of another; 
whereas the private employer has his limited staff; 
and it is no advantage for him to go to the trouble 
of re-arrangement to suit the convenience of his 

Such, then, is the general aspect of the Country as 
it will be in the Great State. There are innumer- 
able details which it is scarcely in place to expand 
here. There will be, for example, vast tracts of 
State forests, which few private owners seem ready 
or able to grow and manage under the present sys- 
tem. There will be great expanses of open moun- 
tains and moorlands which will be left wild and 
untouched not to breed stags and grouse for mil- 
lionaires, but for the sheer pleasure of the culti- 
vated mind in beholding nature at its most solitary 



moments. Those who imagine that a well-devel- 
oped country-side and a larger number of country 
dwellers will necessarily mean the passing-away of 
the rural solitude and peace of the woodland glade 
and heathered hills, are needlessly in dread. In- 
deed, under the Great State there will be less danger 
to the sanctuary of the country-side than under the 
present haphazard individualism which is produc- 
ing Garden Cities and Garden Suburbs of to-day. 
The levelling-up of education will tend to a stronger 
desire to live near one's fellows rather than to es- 
cape from them. Also, the manifold advantages 
of co-operative housekeeping, with common kitchens 
and dining-rooms and libraries and recreation- 
rooms, will make most people hesitate before they 
throw away these advantages for the sake of an 
exclusive villa of the present suburban type. So it 
may well come to pass that houses will be grouped 
together, or built on the block system, even in the 
country. When towns are built on healthier lines, 
there will not be the same race to escape into a 
rather unsightly chaos of straggling suburbs. So 
the towns, on the whole, will tend to be more com- 
pact. That means that the country will be more 
preserved than even now. The Garden Suburb 
will not be built when there is no urgent need for 
either a suburb or a garden; and that will be the 
case when the town is a fit place of habitation, and 
every one will have a share in the communal gardens 
and be within easy reach of open country. 



But on these points it is not necessary to dogmatise. 
There is nothing in the structure of the Great State 
which will restrict a free choice of dwelling-places 
certainly more free than is possible to-day. We 
can only try to foresee general tendencies: and the 
impulse of human beings to group together cer- 
tainly seems a more permanent and normal develop- 
ment than the present tendency to scatter. We all 
feel that there is something rather vulgar about a 
suburb: it is an almost instinctive judgment: it is 
neither a solitude nor a society. 

To sum up, the Country-side of the Great State, 
as we have tried to visualise it, will be a very differ- 
ent thing from the poor and mean extent of small 
holdings and scattered cottages which seem to have 
such an attraction for the Liberal and Tory political 
speakers. We do not believe that there is any per- 
verse twist in the human mind which will lead it to 
waste its energy in cultivating little isolated scraps 
of soil when the results would be so manifold better 
under the larger and more scientifically organised 
system which will be possible under the experts of 
a State Agricultural Board. 

The desire to possess a few acres of land, and so 
many private cows and pigs and hens, is, we are 
told, one of the elemental passions of men. We 
shall be more certain of that "eternal" truth when 
mankind can choose between his little Whig or 
Tory patch and a share in the richer produce of the 
Great State farm. 



There are some who say that the small-holding 
system is picturesque. We think of it, rather, as 
but a slightly better version of that most hideous 
sight on earth the collection of mean wooden huts 
and cramped heaps of vegetables which the locally 
minded and narrow-sighted politician hails with 
pride as the "allotments" and which he regards 
as one of the glories of his town. In the light of 
modern advantages and modern possibilities we see 
the Normal Social Life as the disjointed scraping 
for a pittance it has always been. Man has been the 
serf of the country-side long enough, and now he 
becomes its master: not only to cultivate it for his 
profit, but to use it for his pleasure. What con- 
ceivable glory to humanity is a servitude to cab- 
bages, a prolification of potatoes in the narrow 
margins of men's leisure? 







IT was a wise old woman who sat her down in 
Cheapside and waited for the crowd to go by. To 
the average London citizen she is a perfect picture 
of the ill-informed rural intelligence. To the man 
who understands she had good cause to contem- 
plate the stream of passers-by with amazement, and 
to expect it to cease. What, indeed, are all the 
people doing who may be seen thronging the streets 
of the city of London? 

It is not difficult to answer this question in the 
negative sense. Observation shows us that, almost 
in its entirety, the ceaselessly moving City crowd 
is composed of non-producers. The centre of London 
is fed from about 8 A. M., the hour at which work- 
men's trains cease to arrive at the termini, until 
eleven o'clock, with tens of thousands of men and 
women, and boys and girls, who are not merely non- 
producers, but persons who could not give you an 



intelligent idea as to how any useful material thing 
is made. Whether our point of observation be the 
Mansion House, or the top of Ludgate Hill, or west- 
wards at the Marble Arch, it is rarely that there 
passes before the vision the dirty clothes which, in 
England, we are unhappily accustomed to regard as 
the proper costume of a working-man. We are in a 
land of "officials," where an enormous number of 
people are traffickers in material commodities, who 
eat without sowing or reaping, who dress without 
spinning or weaving, who house themselves without 
building or planning. From merchant to clerk, from 
shopkeeper to girl typist, from stock-broker to com- 
mission-agent, from banker to office-boy, from lawyer 
to doorkeeper, it is a land in which an army of people 
consumes without producing. 

Traced homewards, the individuals who form the 
City stream may be found living in places widely 
remote, from rows of little houses in Tooting or 
Walthamstow to expensive and hardly less ugly 
red-brick villas in Hendon or Woking, in Hampstead 
or Surbiton. There spending the big and little 
incomes which they gain by non-productive work, 
they support by their expenditure, to build and 
repair their homes, to sustain and beautify their 
persons, a very large proportion of the inhabitants 
of London, and of Greater London, and of the 
places immediately beyond. 

Not all these attendants on the city crowd are non- 
producers. Apart from the shopkeepers and their 



assistants and the menials, there are brought into the 
economic chain a considerable number of nominally 
useful producers who spend their work at the bidding 
of the non-producers who traffic at the centre. 

The result, in large, is to bring into the Metropo- 
lis and its surroundings, imports of material com- 
modities which have been either created in those 
parts of the country where men work usefully or 
which have been gained by commerce from abroad. 
It is not forgotten that London is itself a manufac- 
turing centre are not even food factories to be found 
in the filthy abysses of the East? but the matter 
may be put in true perspective by pointing out that 
the London County Council area contains only 387,- 
ooo factory workers in a population of 4,500,000. 

It is a far cry from the place of central traffic and 
private officialdom to the springs of British wealth. 
British prosperity is built upon the possession of 
one of the greatest and richest coal areas in the world, 
and the British coal-mines are not situated near 
London. They are to be found in the West, and 
in the Midlands, and in the North. Curiously, 
there are not so many red-brick villas near the 
springs of work as there are near the centres of mere 
traffic. You shall seek in vain in Cardiff or in 
Newcastle for endless streams of real and imitation 
swells. Mean and sordid, even as measured by the 
standard of a sordid Metropolis, are the highways 
and byways of the places from which flow the min- 
eral streams which have done so much for Britain. 


What was it that Jevons so truly wrote nearly 
fifty years ago? I quote from page 234 of The 
Coal Question: 

"The history of British industry and 
trade may be divided into two periods, the 
first reaching backward from about the 
middle of the eighteenth century to the 
earliest times, and the latter reaching for- 
ward to the present and the future. These 
two periods are contrary in character. In 
the earlier period Britain was a rude, half- 
cultivated country, abounding in corn and 
wool and meat and timber, and exporting 
the rough but valuable materials of manu- 
facture. Our people, though with no small 
share of poetic and philosophic genius, were 
unskilful and unhandy; better in the arts 
of war than those of peace ; on the whole, 
learners rather than teachers. 

"But as the second period grew upon us 
many things changed. Instead of learners 
we became teachers; instead of exporters 
of raw materials we became importers; 
instead of importers of manufactured arti- 
cles we became exporters. What we had 
exported we began by degrees to import; 
and what we had imported we began to 

A wise man having thus pointed out for all time 
to the British people that the use of coal changed 



the entire character of British trade, and made the 
United Kingdom great, and in the ordinary sense 
prosperous, it might be imagined that " the lesson 
would be so surely learned, especially seeing that 
coal-getting is arduous and exceedingly dangerous, 
that mining would rank amongst the most honoured 
of callings, and that mining districts would flow with 
the milk and honey bestowed by a grateful people 
upon the indispensable creators of wealth. In real- 
ity, the mining districts of the United Kingdom are 
devoid of every trace of beauty and of nearly every 
rational means of happiness. Take, for example, 
the unique South Wales coal-field and its unhappy 
valleys. Perched on the hillsides, in close con- 
tiguity to the pit-head, gloomy rows of uncomfort- 
able boxes shelter those who work and die to pro- 
duce a little for themselves and a great deal for the 
soft-handed ones who dwell afar off. Once smiling 
valleys have been shorn of every natural attribute 
and changed into pandemoniums of work and pain. 
Even a mining manager in one of these little Welsh 
villages and how few can hope to rise to become 
mining managers! lives in a small and obscure 
house where the delight of a garden is unknown. 
So melancholy is the impression created by these 
places that one discovers almost with surprise that 
the people have not lost their gift of song. 

Wherever the coal is found, whether it be in 
Scotland, or in the Black Country, or in Yorkshire, 
or in Northumberland, or in Lancashire, there also 



the greater part of useful British industrial work is 
necessarily done (for work naturally gravitates to 
Nature's power areas), and there also, strangely, are 
to be found the chief evidences of an all-pervading 
poverty. The nearer the source of wealth, the nearer 
the abodes of squalor. The nearer to honourable, 
useful, and necessary labour, the nearer to desolation. 
Who that has seen the purlieus of our industrial 
towns, and who understands that these are the places 
where the greater part of the material wealth of 
the country is created, can fail to wonder why so 
few commodities remain with those whose lives are 
spent in productive labour? 

It would astonish me to learn that the majority 
of the readers of these . words reached this point 
without feeling an ardent desire to remind the 
author of the fact that a man or woman who does 
not work with his hands in the direct production 
of material commodities is not necessarily a non- 
producer. I therefore hasten to add that I am very 
familiar with the fact, and with all that has been 
said about it by the long and dreary line of econo- 
mists, and that I shall discuss it hereafter. 



BECAUSE so many of us are wasting our time, 
the material production of the United Kingdom is 



not large enough, even if equally distributed, to 
redeem us from poverty. In the Mean State that 
is, the waste of work is so grievous that it is but the 
minority of the working population which is engaged 
in material production, and even as to that minority 
it is most unhappily true that it is largely engaged 
in making material things which ought not to be 
produced at all things which the Great State of 
our dreams would ban as economic indecencies. 

It is quite simple to demonstrate the truth of 
these propositions. 

In 1906 I took a good deal of interest in the pas- 
sage into law of the Census of Production Act of the 
United Kingdom. It was a belated piece of legisla- 
tion, and its clauses are marked with that timidity 
which has been the curse of so many British legis- 
lative endeavours, and which is largely responsible 
for the accusing arrears of legislation which are be- 
ginning to tell seriously in Britain. I tried to get 
an inquiry into wages and capital added to its pro- 
visions, but the House of Commons, although, as 
subsequent events have shown, then within measur- 
able distance of a general strike against low wages 
(I correct this article for press on March 15, 1912, 
when a general strike of miners is bringing trade to 
a standstill), was not sufficiently interested to order 
a compulsory examination of wages and capital. 
Nevertheless, the Act has given us most valuable 
if incomplete information. For the first time we 
have a measurement of the value of the material 



production of British industries, accompanied by a 
record of the number of wage-earners and salaried 
persons, men, women, boys, and girls, who did the 
work which yielded the commodities. The harvest 
of British productive work is measured and spread 
out before us. 

The first thing to observe is a thing amazing to 
the man who has not acquainted himself with the 
rougher measurement of productive workers ex- 
hibited by the ordinary Census of the United 

There were, in 1907, the year in which the Board 
of Trade conducted the Census of Production, about 
20,000,000 men, women, boys, and girls engaged in 
occupations for gain. As the population in 1907 
was about 44,000,000, it follows that nearly one- 
half of the entire population was working for gain. 
When allowance is made for infants, school children, 
and the aged, we get a decided impression that the 
British people are a busy people. And indeed 
they are. 

But what are they busy with? 

Let us see what the Census of Production tells 
us as to the number of people occupied in material 
output in 1907. 

The Census dealt with every sort and kind of 
material production for gain, save and except agri- 
cultural production. It covered, that is, not only 
the manufacturing accomplished in factories, mills, 
and workshops, but the preparation of food for gain 



in bakeries, the brewing of beer, the distilling of 
spirits, and the public works of construction carried 
out by State departments and local authorities, 
and it included the value of repairs. It also covered 
all mining and quarrying. The only exception ap- 
pears to be the manufacturing of food by restaurants. 

Each employer returned the number of salaried 
persons and wage-earners employed by him, with 
details as to the proportions of men, women, boys, 
and girls composing each group. To be precise, 
those aged eighteen years and over were distin- 
guished from those under eighteen, for each sex. 

The inquiry showed that about 6,900,000 persons 
were engaged in producing in 1907, and that of 
these 6,400,000 were wage-earners, officered by some 
500,000 salaried persons. This is sufficiently re- 
markable, but the more closely the figures are 
examined the more remarkable they appear. Fur- 
ther analysis shows that the 6,400,000 wage-earners 
were thus made up: 

IN 1907 

Males aged 18 years and over. . 4,250,000 
Females " 18 " " " . . 1,200,000 
Males and Females under 18. . . . 950,000 

Total 6,400,000 

Thus, in the year 1907 and the facts in 1912 
can exhibit little variation there were only 4,250,000 
6 77 


men occupied in industry in the United Kingdom, 
terming a man a male person over eighteen years of 

And how many men, counting as men the males 
over eighteen years of age, did the United Kingdom 
boastof in 1907? The answer is 13,000,000. So that, 
in what is a great manufacturing country a coun- 
try reputed to be industrialised more than any other 
country less than one-third of the males over eighteen 
are actually engaged in industry. And not all these 
are manufacturing. Nearly 1,000,000 of them are 
engaged in mining and quarrying, so that not more 
than about one in four of our male population over 
eighteen is a "manufacturer." 

Let us see what addition has to be made to our 
4,200,000 miners and manufacturers on account of 
agricultural production. To judge by the last Cen- 
sus of 1901, and the subsequent drain through emi- 
gration, we had in 1907 about 2,000,000 persons 
engaged in agriculture, including farmers, farmers' 
relatives working on their farms, agricultural la- 
bourers, market gardeners, nurserymen, dairymen, 
etc., and of these about 1,600,000 were males over 

Therefore, reviewing material production of every 
sort and kind, save only the trifling and negligible 
exceptions which have been mentioned, the number 
of males over eighteen engaged in material output in 
1907 was only about 5,800,000. This total does not 
include the captains of industry, but their inclusion 



would, of course, scarcely affect the total. There 
are only some 250,000 registered factories and work- 
shops in the United Kingdom. 

It is true that we supplement the labour of these 
5,800,000 "men" by employing in industry 1,200,000 
females aged eighteen and over, and some 9 5 0,000 boys 
and girls, and that in agriculture there are perhaps 
a further 400,000 women, boys, and girls employed. 
These additions, however, merely serve to raise the 
total of productive workers to 8,400,000, or, if we 
throw in the 500,000 salaried persons connected 
with the industrial operations, 8,900,000. We thus 
arrive at the extraordinary conclusion that, in a 
nation containing in 1907 about 44,000,000 of peo- 
ple, about 20,000,000 of whom figure in the Census 
as "engaged in occupations," only about 9,000,000, 
or less than one-half of those working for gain, are 
engaged in either agricultural or industrial produc- 

But let us in particular consider the case of the 
males. In 1907 there were about 14,000,000 male 
persons "engaged in occupations." Of these 14,- 
000,000 males, as we have already seen, there 
were about 13,000,000 aged eighteen and upwards. 
Including both industry and agriculture, the 
number of such males at work was only about 

So that only 45 per cent, of our males over eigh- 
teen are direct producers of material commodi- 



Is it reasonable, or is it not rather incredible, that 
the labours of the remainder of the working popu- 
lation should be needed to transport and to dis- 
tribute the material production of so small a pro- 
portion of our men, aided by a couple of million 
women and children? 

Make every conceivable allowance for the very 
real productive powers of such workers as railway 
servants and carmen, seamen and dockers, ware- 
housemen and storekeepers, postmen and teleg- 
raphists, with a due proportion of wholesale and 
retail distributors, architects, designers, doctors, 
nurses, and teachers, and it still remains a thing 
most significant and most unsatisfactory that, amid 
a multitude of workers, so small a proportion should 
be employed in making those material things a 
lack of which constitutes poverty in the physical 

Take the case of retail distribution. It is the 
extraordinary fact that there are 1,500,000 shop- 
keepers and shop assistants in the United Kingdom, 
in a community which numbers only some 9,000,000 
families. That is to say, there is one retail distribu- 
tor to each six families in the country, an absurdly 
high proportion. And this figure takes no account 
of the carmen, horsemen, stablemen, and other 
agents also concerned in the process of retailing. 
It excludes, also, the retailing of coal, which is ac- 
complished, not by shopkeepers, but by "coal-mer- 
chants" with another army of clerks, vans, carmen, 



horsemen, labourers, etc. And the number of retail 
agents is equally striking when compared with the 
number of producers. As we have seen, there are 
only 8,400,000 men, women, boys, and girls engaged 
in industrial and agricultural production. The 
shopkeepers and their assistants number i for every 
5.6 persons engaged in production. 

And as for the mass of clerks, agents, travellers, 
brokers, merchants, canvassers, and other between- 
agents, their number is altogether disproportionate, 
either to the number of producers or to the aggregate 
of those producers' outputs. 

WE must not readily conclude that we have even 
as many as 4,250,000 men, 1,200,000 women, and 
950,000 boys and girls engaged in useful industrial 

For one thing, the Census of Production was taken 
in an exceedingly good year of trade, when employ- 
ment was good. If it had been taken in the follow- 
ing year, the number of producers would have been 
shown as about 4 per cent, less than the above 
figures. We have also to take account of short 
time and of the operation of industrial disease and 
accident, which cut deeply into the available work- 
ing time of industrial workers. 



But these considerations, important as they are, 
pale before the waste of work which is involved in 
industrial processes that are but the servants of 
unnecessary competition. 

Analysis of the work of the few millions of indus- 
trial producers shows us that no small part of them 
are engaged, not in the manufacture of things of 
economic value or personal utility, but in the manu- 
facture of articles or commodities which merely serve 
the purpose of competitive selling. 

Take the printing trade, for example. An un- 
measurable but certainly large proportion of the 
men, women, boys, and girls who rank in the Census 
of Production as working in the printing trades are 
engaged in printing, not books or newspapers or 
magazines, but advertising matter, competitive price- 
lists, wrappers, trade labels, bill-heads, account books, 
posters, etc., which are merely called into existence 
in the struggle of various competitive sellers to 
reach the consumer. The consumer has to pay the 
bill for all this printing in the price of the competi- 
tive articles which he buys; but what does he gain 
by the mass of printing which is daily thrust upon 
him? He is bewildered by the printed appeals 
which are made to him, which are nearly always 
misleading in some degree, and which in many cases 
are deliberately intended to deceive. The news- 
paper reader pays for his newspaper, he fondly be- 
lieves, only a halfpenny or a penny. As a matter of 
fact, he pays for his newspaper in two ways; there 



is the direct payment of a copper to the news-agent, 
and there is the indirect payment which he contrib- 
utes in the prices of things which he buys from trades- 
men, prices which are calculated to cover the cost 
of the advertisements which he fondly imagines are 
presented to him by the newspaper proprietors. 
One feels sorry for the uninstructed man who, de- 
siring to buy, say, a pianoforte, consults advertise- 
ments as the best means of discovering where to 

And not printing alone, but many other trades 
give a considerable part of their output to the uses 
of advertisement. Iron, copper, zinc, enamel, 
colour, ink, paper, string, gum, wood the list of 
articles which are built up into advertisements to 
deface towns, despoil scenery, and confuse the 
traveller is a lengthy one. The workers upon these 
things are amongst our few "producers," but their 
production is in vain. 

In recent years, the absurdity of competition by 
advertisement, which is sufficiently obvious in re- 
gard to what are commonly called manufactures, 
has been imported even into the domain of food 
supply. Enormous sums are spent by competitive 
firms to persuade the public that there are a number 
of different individual teas, butters, or bacons. 
Tea bought in the ordinary process in the London 
market is put up into special packets and labelled 
with fancy names and advertised in terms which 
suggest that it possesses individual quality like a 



Beethoven symphony. The consumer does not 
dream that, in 1911, 348,000,000 pounds of tea were 
imported into the United Kingdom for the small sum 
of 13,000,000, or only gd per pound, and that when 
he buys tea he pays a tax of $d. to the government 
and a tax of from ^d. to Sd. and upwards per pound 
to the host of wholesale and retail middlemen, rail- 
way shareholders, advertising agents, brokers, etc., 
who stand between tea at the port and tea on the 
breakfast-table. To furnish forth the newspaper ad- 
vertisements, the posters, the lead wrappers, the 
paper wrappers, the boxes, and the other parapher- 
nalia connected with the tea-selling means a good 
deal of "manufacturing," but it is manufacturing 
which from the point of view of economic production 
is for the most part a good deal worse than useless. 
I hope no one will suppose from this that retail 
grocers make big net profits on tea, for they do not. 
Their gross profit is about 20 per cent, on the whole- 
sale price at which they buy, but much of that goes 
in rent, etc. The great waste of work brings small 
net gain out of large gross profit to ordinary shop- 

And if the manufacturing of competitive materials 
is bad, the manufacturing of rubbish in nearly every 
department of industry is worse. I repeat here 
what I have said before, that rubbish-making is our 
largest industry. It is one of the saddest things in 
our industrial system to see an ingenious machine, 
worked by an intelligent man, and driven by an 



engine which is a triumph of human skill, exercised 
upon shoddy material. The average workman is 
so used to working upon rubbish that he fails to 
perceive the irony of it. The bricklayer takes the 
bricks and mortar as they come along; it is all the 
same to him whether the bricks be soft or hard, or 
whether the mortar be good cement or pure mud. 
The carpenter uses the timber supplied to him by 
the jerry-builder, however green, however shaky. 
The weaver will as readily weave you a shoddy weft 
on a cotton warp as produce a piece of good, honest 
woollen cloth. Twenty per cent, of the material used 
by the British woollen and worsted industries consists of 
shoddy. This shoddy is worked up with pure wool 
in various proportions. It is safe to say that no 
poor man ever wears a garment wholly made of 
honest woollen material. If our workmen began 
questioning their materials, I really shudder to think 
what would happen to their next wages bill, or to what 
sort of dimensions our industrial production would be 
reduced. We are surrounded by rubbish on every 
side. All but a tiny proportion of the houses of 
the country are furnished with rubbish and cur- 
tained with rubbish and fastened up with rubbish. 
The greater part of household coal, which costs its 
getters so much in life and its purchasers so much 
in money, is wasted in rubbish grates and rubbish 
ranges. It is impossible to exaggerate in this con- 
nection; the reality is an exaggeration beyond all 



I cannot pretend to express these things of which 
I have written in statistical terms. I cannot pre- 
tend to decide how many of the 4,250,000 producing 
males over eighteen make honest stuff and how 
many, on the other hand, are amongst the rubbish 
producers. It is only too clear, however, that 
the rubbish producers are an exceedingly large part 
of the whole, and that the number of people in 
the country who make articles worth buying is 
ridiculously small. 



FROM what has been said, no one will be sur- 
prised to learn that the output of our mines, mills, 
factories, and workshops, while actually great, is 
small relatively to the labour power of the na- 

Passing from the workers to the results of their 
work, the Census of Production shows us for each 
producing industry (i) the factory value of the 
output, (2) the cost of the materials used in the 
work, and (3), by subtraction, the value added by 
each trade to the materials which it uses. By this 
method the duplication of values is avoided, and 
we get a true aggregate of the total net value of 
British production. 



It is shown that the net output of all British 
industries thus arrived at in 1907 was 712,000,000, 
or about 100 for each man, woman, boy, and girl 

This total is exclusive of the value of materials 
either imported from abroad or bought from 
British agriculture. 

Now let us see what was the total value of mate- 
rial commodities gained by the United Kingdom 
in 1907: (i) through productive industry, (2) 
through agriculture, (3) through the exchange of 
part of British material production for foreign 
produce, and (4) through any material imports 
gained from abroad through services rendered 
to people abroad. It is quite simple to do 

First, as to agriculture. We are still waiting the 
result of the voluntary Census of agricultural pro- 
duction which the Board of Agriculture conducted 
in 1907. It is probable, however, that the agricul- 
tural produce of the United Kingdom, considered as 
one farm, is not very different in value from the 
careful estimate which was made some years ago by 
Mr. R. H. Rew viz., 200,000,000. Adding this 
to the net industrial output, we get 912,000,000. 
We have to add to this sum the imports we re- 
ceived in 1907, and to deduct from it the ex- 
ports which we sent out of the country in that 
year. The whole operation may be shown clearly 



Net value of output shown 
by Census of Production 712 ,000,000 


Estimated at 200,000,000 

DUCTION 912,000,000 

Add: Imports into United 

Kingdom 646,000,000 


Subtract : ( i ) Exports of Bri- 
tish productions, 
(2) Exports of im- 
ported goods, 


RESULT: Net gain of Material 

Wealth in 1907. . . .1,040,000,000 

Apart from any question as to the quality of the 
stuff, here is a faithful picture of the wholesale value 
of the gain in material commodities which the United 
Kingdom made in the year 1907, whether by home 



production or by foreign trade and foreign shipping 
and investment. The total, it will be seen, amounts 
in round figures to a little more than one thousand 
millions. When we remember that in 1907 the 
British population numbered 44,000,000, we are 
struck, not with the greatness, but with the paucity 
of the figure. It amounts to just over 23 per head 
of the population. 

Thus, British poverty is not alone a matter of ill- 
distribution. If this yearly increment of material 
things was equally divided amongst the population, 
it would not be sufficient to give good food and 
good clothing and good housing, to say nothing of 
the materiel of government, of civic life, of sport, 
of amusement, and of mental culture, to a popula- 
tion of such magnitude. It would abolish poverty 
in its worse sense, but it could confer but an exceedingly 
poor standard of civilisation. 

It will be perceived that the facts we have ex- 
amined go much closer to the causes of poverty 
than even an investigation of income. The income 
of the United Kingdom, defined as the aggregate of 
all the wages, salaries, and profits of the individuals 
who compose the nation, is about twice as great as 
the one thousand million pounds arrived at above. 
The national income measures not material incre- 
ment alone, but all the services, good, bad, and 
indifferent, useful and useless, beneficent and malefi- 
cent, which are built up upon the basis of the mate- 
rial income. The national income measures not 


merely the wage of a useful boiler-maker, but the 
salary of a useless clerk, or the fee paid to a lawyer 
for making a woman, much more moral than him- 
self, confess her failings in the witness-box. 

There is, of course, close connection between ill- 
distribution and poverty of production, and attention 
was specially directed to this in my Riches and 
Poverty, Chapter XVIII, p. 251. Here I will only 
point out in passing that the ill-distribution of the 
national income must connote restriction of material 
production, since the rich man, by reason of the 
nature of his expenditure, calls out of production 
into the region of hand-service and luxury-providing 
a considerable number of his fellow-creatures. A 
better distribution of income would thus largely 
increase material production by changing the char- 
acter of expenditure; but much more than that is 
needed to abolish material poverty. 


No one who is acquainted with modern machine 
production can fail to have been struck with the 
extreme facility with which we can now fashion 
material commodities. The scientist and the en- 
gineer have put plenty at our disposal, if we care to 
have it. It is not the fault of the inventor or the 



discoverer that only about 4,000,000 men are irregu- 
larly employed upon their wonderful machines and 
processes. That is obviously true, for a large pro- 
portion of the originators of modern industrial proc- 
esses are dead, and their inheritance is the common 
property of mankind. Even as to the living in- 
ventor, we are careful to put a very short time-limit 
to his powers of monopoly. The inventor of the 
incandescent gas mantle is happily still alive; but 
any man can now employ cheap labour to turn out 
more or less imperfect examples of his great inven- 
tion without paying him a cent. There is no secret 
about modern machine industry. The great body 
of invention is at our disposal with which to produce 
plentifulness, and every year the patents of living 
inventors are expiring. 

To visit a modern cloth factory or cycle factory or 
boot factory or furniture factory is to witness 
operations which win from a wonderful complication 
of devices, and from a division of labour between 
machines made for sectional purposes, an extreme 
simplicity and rapidity of output. Each part of a 
boot or a cycle, however small and seemingly insig- 
nificant, is turned out by a specialised machine at 
very small cost. The accurately and beautifully 
made parts are put together, and the total labour 
exerted to make one boot or one cycle is marvellously 
small. Looking at boot machines, we understand 
that a very limited number of them, worked by a 
small fraction of the working population, could 


easily make more boots in a year than our entire 
population could wear out in several years. Look- 
ing at a cycle factory, we understand that it would 
be the simplest possible thing for a very limited 
number of people to turn out more cycles than there 
are people in the country to ride them. 

It is not manufacturing which is the trouble to 
the manufacturer. It is not the work of his factory 
which worries a manufacturer. The manufacturers' 
trouble is this, that it is so easy to make things and 
so difficult to sell things. It is to selling and not 
to making that the manufacturer has chiefly to ad- 
dress his mind. From the point of view of economic 
production, the man who makes boots is a valuable 
worker, while the man who takes orders for boots 
and perhaps by his skill in representation takes an 
order away from a man who sells better boots, 
counts for nothing, or worse than nothing, as an 
economic agent. To the manufacturer, however, 
the boot worker is a commonplace object who can 
easily be replaced, while the successful salesman is 
all in all. It is an inversion of proper economic 
conceptions which goes to the very root of the 
problem of poverty. 

The efficient machinery which has been contrived 
to meet the needs of large-scale production of every 
sort and kind is, as we have seen, worked by a small 
proportion of our population. Yet, even when thus 
indifferently and partially worked, the machines have 
but to keep going for a brief period and demand is 



overtaken. Almost as soon as the wheels begin to 
ran freely, the brake must perforce be put to them, 
for lack of buyers to command the products which 
can so easily be made. The machines are run, not 
with the object of producing goods in plenty, but 
with the object of reducing costs in connection with 
a known or an estimated demand. In effect, every 
machine is run to make one thing and one thing 
only, and that is individual profit. That profit can 
only be secured out of the trade which offers. The 
trade which offers arises from the limited consump- 
tion of a community, the mass of which are wage- 
labourers paid little more than the bare cost of rent- 
ing a poor home and buying fuel and food for its 
inmates. To run the machines freely under such 
conditions is to attempt the impossible. Each 
manufacturer, in effect, denies customers to every 
other manufacturer. Each is successful in putting 
a brake upon the machinery of every other. The 
hat-worker cannot afford to buy the boots he re- 
quires, which can so easily be made by the boot- 
worker. The boot-worker cannot afford to buy the 
hats he requires, which can so easily be made by 
the hat-worker. Neither of them can command 
the cycles so easily turned out at Coventry, and at 
Coventry every factory pours out men and women 
poorly shod and with indifferent head-gear. 

As for the product which is actually turned out, 
and supplemented, as we have seen, by exchanges 
with foreign parts, it is scrambled for by a host of 

7 93 


uneconomic agents who attenuate the poor stream 
of commodities as it flows through the country. 

The case of tea, to which I have referred in these 
pages, is typical rather than exceptional. To take 
retailing alone, the average shopkeeper cannot live 
on a gross profit less than from 30 to 50 per cent. 
His retail profit may be insignificant, and often is 
so. The failures amongst shopkeepers are appalling 
in their number. But whether they succeed or 
fail, upon every article they sell they must load on 
a big gross profit. When, therefore, the wage- 
earner takes his poor wage to market, he has first 
of all to provide a living for middlemen whose living 
may be as hard to get as his own, while both suffer 
from the waste of their labour. 

There is one certain way of getting very little out 
of the scramble, and that is to be one of the producers. 
So long as a man is content to remain a useful 
economic producer he cannot become even moder- 
ately comfortable. If he is worldly wise, he will 
reason to himself: "There is only one way in which 
I can get a chance to make an ample subsistence, 
and that is by ceasing to make goods, and by entering 
upon one of the paths by which I can make, not 
goods, but profits." "Getting on" is rarely or 
never possible for the man who continues honestly 
to make hats or furniture or boots or carpets or 
upholstery, as a unit in large-scale economic pro- 
duction. Can we wonder, then, if an increasingly 
large proportion of the population has realised this 



and has made what is, under the circumstances, 
the wise decision to desert production for one of 
the paths of profit? When there is neither comfort 
nor honour to be got out of honest work, need we wonder 
if so many of us prefer to live without working? The 
latter course is at least not less likely to fail than the 
former and offers so many sublime opportunities. 

So it is that the inventors, the scientists, and the 
engineers have completely failed to make tolerable 
the lot of the common man. It was in 1828 that 
George Stephenson ran "The Rocket"; to-day, 
eighty years after, the great mass of the British 
people are unable to travel any considerable dis- 
tance in their own country by railway, for they can- 
not afford the fares. The steamship is nearly as 
old as the railway locomotive ; yet to-day the masses 
are only acquainted with steamships when they are 
driven into emigration. We possess in electric trac- 
tion the means of spreading our town populations 
over considerable and healthy areas; the people 
remain, huddled in their grimy towns, a prey to 
disease. We are one of the few great coal nations; 
yet few of our people can afford to warm their 
houses properly. The mass of the British people 
warm their beds with their own bodies, and that in a 
great coal country which enjoys seven months of 
winter. We have not yet the wit to keep us warm. 
Vain have been the strivings of the most gifted of 
men. The machines they have constructed have but 
created a new race of machine-slaves, and made it 



possible for an increasing proportion of civilised men 
to live by useless work, while liberating entirely from 
work, useful or useless, a limited leisure class which 
alone enjoys the fruits of the earth as multiplied and 
harvested by machinery. 

Is it necessary for so much work to produce so 
much pain ? After taking so much trouble to facili- 
tate production, does it pass the wit of man to 
organise our labour to better advantage than is 
shown in the wretched material increment we have 
examined, made to be enjoyed chiefly by those who 
do not produce it? Is it really more difficult to 
persuade a people to use machinery properly than 
it is to invent the machinery itself? Must it be 
said of civilised man that he can analyse the light of 
Sirius but cannot shelter all his children? that he 
can achieve scientific miracles but is baffled by the 



THE answer to the questions just propounded is 
that, while scientific accomplishment has in the last 
few generations been regarded as a proper study of 
mankind, we have not yet deemed it our duty to 
provide our people with comfort. As long as science 
was a forbidden domain, science made little prog- 
ress. As long as men continue to regard such a 



thing as an ample supply of clothing a matter to be 
resigned to haphazard effort, conducted by unor- 
ganised and incompletely informed individuals work- 
ing in opposition to each other for private gain, the 
masses of people will remain ill-clad. That is as 
true as what Machiavelli long ago wrote as to the 
impossibility of conducting successful national mili- 
tary operations by purchasing the services of con- 
dottieri. No nation will ever be well housed, well 
clothed, well fed, and well cultured while it is 
content to cherish industrial condottieri. Not un- 
til the soldier of fortune is as much an anachronism 
in the industrial as in the military world will there 
be an output of commodities of such dimensions as 
to abolish material poverty, and of such rapidity 
and ease of production as to abolish the distinction 
between classes by creating a universal leisure won 
through the ordered scientific use of economic 

Is this to envisage as a worthy ideal a Great 
State running as a Great Machine, the well-oiled 
wheels of which are the lives and labours of drilled 
and enslaved citizens? Does the reign of Order 
necessarily mean the loss of liberty, of individuality, 
of personal choice, of captaincy of one's own soul? 

The answer to these questions will appear to those 
who consider carefully the considerations which 
have been advanced in these pages. Production 
has become so simple that, if a people will but 
consent to organise for the production necessary to 



yield a high minimum standard of subsistence for 
the entire community, the necessary labour will 
occupy so small a proportion of the day of the 
community's adults of working age, as to produce 
for every one such a measure of liberty as can now 
be enjoyed in dishonourable ease by but a few. I 
have led up to this proposition by showing (i) that 
present production is the work of a few, (2) that 
the work of even that few is largely wasted, and 
(3) that the means of production are now so efficient 
as to make it possible to produce easily much more 
than we can possibly consume. 

In our community of some forty-five millions of 
people, there are approaching twenty-eight millions 
over eighteen years of age. It is clear, then, that if 
training merged into economic work at eighteen, the 
number of workers would be so great as to make it 
possible to organise, in a very brief working day for 
all, the efficient production and distribution of the 
materials necessary for a high minimum standard of 
living. If a few millions of men, aided by a million or 
two of women, boys, and girls, can create and sustain 
the material fabric we now know of, in spite of the in- 
terruption of unemployment, preventable sickness, 
and avoidable accident, what could not be done by 
the entire nation, engaged in economic labour, and 
working with the aid of the most efficient appliances 
in each department of production ? One cannot pre- 
tend to make estimates in such a matter, but I submit 
with confidence that an ample output in all the de- 



partments of civic, home, road, and transport mainte- 
nance, construction and repair, of lighting and heat- 
ing, of cloths and apparel, of foods and beverages, 
of indoor and outdoor furnishings, of afforestation 
and land development, of certain public amusements 
and exhibitions, could be secured in a short working 
day, leaving the greater part of the life of an adult 
absolutely free, within the limits of common rule, 
for the pursuit of individual occupations, researches, 
travels, and amusements, the leisure dignified and 
justified by the ordered maximum of labour, and 
the necessary labours of the Commonwealth de- 
prived of monotony and hardship by the gain of 
honourable leisure. 

But let us endeavour to get definite conceptions 
of the possibilities of necessary order and admired 
disorder, of organised work and unorganised work, 
of law and of liberty, of professionalism and of 
amateurism, in this Great State that we dare to 
dream of. 

At the age of, say, eighteen years the youth will 
pass into apprenticeship to some definite branch 
of the organised work of the Great State. It is not 
my province here to deal with the education which 
will fit him for serious professional service. Basing 
myself upon the known fact that an average child, 
given proper training, is the inheritor of the normal 
capacity of his race, and can be developed into a 
man useful to himself and to his fellows, I postulate 
an education worthy the name. I see the average 



boy of eighteen, not only healthy, but understanding 
why he is healthy, and what branches of the pro- 
fessional work of the State are necessary for the 
maintenance of that public health in which he 
shares. I see him thus respecting his own body 
and the bodies of others. His eye is clear, and his 
touch is deft and firm. He moves with grace and 
precision, and his hands are skilful. In the region 
of acquired knowledge, as distinguished from the 
education of his inherited powers, he is acquainted 
with the elements of science. He knows the quality 
of the Nature from which he has emerged, so far as 
it has been revealed by the sciences of geology, 
biology, chemistry, and physics. He has taken up 
the magnificent inheritance of knowledge which 
as yet not one in ten thousand of our people enjoys. 
By virtue of this inheritance, he understands the 
physical world in which he has his being. For him 
there are sermons in stones, and good and evil in 
everything. He rejoices in his knowledge as he 
rejoices in his strength. His acquaintance with 
first principles enables him to scan a machine with 
an eye of intelligence. There is no common object 
of that conquest of Nature which we call Civili- 
sation which has mystery for him. He, therefore, 
understands why work is necessary, and why 
Nature has not merely to be conquered in one 
final decisive battle, but in the every day of a never- 
ending struggle. What imagination he has and 
what native powers he possesses are widened and 



deepened and multiplied by the knowledge which 
makes him one of the chain of Nature's conquerors. 
Withal, he has read in the history of the races of 
man and in the literature and philosophy which 
has been the expression of the best of men; and the 
structure of society and the manner of the governance 
of society are known to him in their forms and in 
their conceptions. 

Thus I see the normal educated youth of the 
Great State, and I cannot see a Great State based 
on anything less. Without general culture of a 
kind which is not now possessed even by our ruling 
classes, I can see nothing more than the possi- 
bility of a Socialist bureaucracy, a Servile State, 
a later Peruvian Socialism, with its general order 
of docile units and its upper order of a ruling and 
informed caste. I do not deny that a socialistic 
bureaucratic State might be infinitely superior to 
our existing admixture of bureaucracy, feudalism, 
and private individual governance for purposes of 
individual gain ; but let us build as greatly as scien- 
tific attainment gives us leave to envisage the future, 
trusting that we may be really building even greater 

I picture the educated youth of eighteen choosing 
his professional lot. 

It is necessary here to interpolate the supposi- 
tion that the Great State will express the results 
of the professional work done within its borders 
the results, that is, of that maximum of individual 



labour which its citizens will owe it in money, 
and that the income, or share of the results of pro- 
fessional work, which all will enjoy, will be spent 
in the form of money by citizens free to command 
with that money whatsoever the Great State 

A call for commodities being a call for labour, the 
Great State will be able to measure unerringly for 
what kind of labour the people call. It will also 
know what quantity of human work, aided by the 
most economic appliances known, is needed in each 
department of production called upon by the people's 
aggregate expenditure. Thus, in any particular 
year, as the youth of the nation reaches the age of 
entry into professional labour, a certain number 
of apprenticeships or openings will be available for 
the new workers of the year. It is not difficult to 
conceive arrangements, combining elements of choice 
with elements of examination as to qualifications, 
which shall draft the youth of the year into the 
professional work of the nation. The average 
element of choice will be a thousandfold wider than 
now, and liberty in this respect thus a thousand- 
fold wider. For all but an insignificant fraction of 
the youth of our State that is, there is in practice 
no choice, and, even where choice exists, it is but 
as a choice of evils. Narrow indeed is the gate, and 
strait exceedingly is the way, for the son of a Gla- 
morganshire miner or of a London bricklayer or 
of a Leicester boot-hand who reaches the thirteen 



years of age at which he is ejected from the sham 
schools wherein we mock the name of Education. 

And this enlarged liberty in choosing the way of 
professional life, it must be remembered, although 
necessarily finding bounds to its freedom in the 
necessities of society and the limitations of the 
individual, is, it is necessary to insist, but the com- 
mittal of the individual to that part of his life which 
is to be professional. True it is that this side of life 
must have its limitations to freedom, its elements of 
compulsion, its inexorable call to duty, and its door 
shut against escape from honourable toil. But this 
side of man's life will not necessarily be the larger 
side. Every professional of the Great State will be 
also an amateur of what arts, what occupations he 

Again let us remember that in our forty-five 
millions of people there are twenty-eight millions 
of over eighteen years of age. What might not 
twenty-six million persons to deduct the two 
million over sixty-five years of age do even to-day, 
with science and invention no more developed than 
they are, if their labour was organised without com- 
petitive waste and exerted, not for individual profit, 
but in the output and economic distribution of useful 
products and services? 

The conception of the Great State is that the 
whole of the adult population will be organised to 
produce a minimum standard of life, expressed by 
the output and distribution of the material products 



and services necessary to its maintenance. This 
work is what I term the professional life of the in- 
dividual. It is the performance of his social duty. 
It is a thing of written law and compulsion. And 
because it is universal and compulsory, and be- 
cause the waste of effort will be reduced to an in- 
significance, the professional or compulsory work 
of the individual will occupy but a few hours of his 
day. Even now, were the thing possible, as most 
unhappily it is not possible, the adult units of our 
people, officered by the small proportion of informed 
people we possess, could probably do all that is now 
usefully done in not more than a five hours' day. 
With a universal scientific education, less than a 
five hours' day of labour for adults will produce a 
bulk of commodities and services many times 
greater than now obtains. 

The economic contraction of professional life means 
the widening of freedom. Beyond his professional 
work, the citizen will owe no duty to the State, and 
he will be free to do anything which is not to the 
injury of his fellows. For the greater part of his 
working hours, that is, he may be poet or painter, 
writer or philosopher, singer or musician, actor or 
dramatist, carver or sculptor, even sportsman or 

I cannot conceive a professional actor in the Great 
State; I can only see amateur actors, robbed of 
those unfortunate attributes that come with eternal 
pose, by healthy work done in a healthy world. 


I cannot imagine a poet selling his epics in the Great 
State; I can only see amateur poets, whose Muses 
shall visit them the more frequently because they 
are engaged in the useful work of the world. I 
cannot conceive in the Great State would-be pro- 
fessional painters ruined by drink and the devil 
while waiting for rich parvenus to appreciate their 
Venuses ; I can only see healthy creatures painting 
because they needs must, and painting what they 
want to paint. As for the great army of writers, 
journalists, ministers of religion of all denomina- 
tions, dancers, philosophers, lecturers, and others 
who now escape from legitimate labour, and from 
their honest share of what needs to be done that we 
all may live, sometimes escaping because they are 
clever, sometimes because they are merely artful, and 
sometimes, Heaven knows how, when they are 
neither clever nor artful, there will be no room for 
them as professionals in the Great State. They may 
write for such as will read ; they may mime for such as 
will look ; they may lecture for such as will hear ; they 
may preach to such congregations as their gifts 
may command; but they will do so as amateurs, 
and their labour of love will find its reward in that 
self-respect and public honour which are amongst 
the chief rewards possible for man. 

Thus I picture an amateur life of individual work 
and recreation embroidered upon the main social fabric 
formed by exertion in professional work. 

The amateur side of life in the Great State will 


need its materials. Those materials will be partly 
purchased with money out of State production 
through the individual's ordinary income which 
expresses his minimum wage, and partly supplied 
by amateur effort and exchanges between amateurs 
as amateurs. This side of the subject presents no 
difficulty. We can see the amateur carver working 
upon wood the produce of State professional pro- 
duction. We can see the amateur company of actors 
hiring one of the Great State's theatres, and per- 
forming with dresses and effects partly purchased 
out of income from State stores and partly fur- 
nished by amateur effort or by amateur elabora- 
tion or decoration of State materials. The poet's 
pen and ink, the artist's tools and colours, the 
amateur publishers' paper and machinery, will all 
alike be commanded out of State production by 
professional income and elaborated or worked with 
in amateurs' time. 

The newspaper of the Great State will be a plain 
record of home and foreign happenings. It will 
record the result of elections at home and abroad, 
the progress of industries, the growth or decline of 
peoples, the judgments in cases of dispute or arbi- 
tration, the births and marriages and deaths, the 
departures of travellers, the arrival of visitors, the 
accidents or misfortunes in its homes and factories. 
It will not record opinions, or be concerned with 
policies. Organs of opinion will be purely amateur 
in ownership and direction. An organ of opinion 

1 06 


will not be published for gain, but to express the 
thoughts and desires of those who publish it. Ob- 
viously, they will not desire to publish unless they 
think earnestly and strongly, and for a man or 
society of men who think thus it will be easy to 
publish. (As I need hardly point out, there is al- 
ready growing up a very great output of purely ama- 
teur and non-commercial literature of opinion, in the 
shape of books, pamphlets, reports, journals, etc.) 
The professional income of twenty men, or even ten, 
will command paper and machinery, and by their 
own amateur labour men will speak their minds. 
If such speaking gains hearers, it will gain supporters, 
and a large circulation will be possible not a circu- 
lation contracted for with advertisers, or a circula- 
tion which needs must be to give so many people a 
living whether they want to write or not, or whether 
they have anything to say or not. Thus the organs 
of opinoin of the Great State will live honestly or 
not at all, and even the least of poetasters will find 
it less difficult than now to produce his little volume 
of verses for the edification of his friends. 

I see that in some ways the professional and ama- 
teur worker of the Great State will join hands. 
"It is my pleasure," said the German municipal 
architect to me, as he waved his hand towards the 
municipal dwellings. I see amateur painters com- 
peting for the pleasure of decorating with frescoes 
the panels of a new Town Hall, amateur painters 
who professionally may be carpenters or clerks 



or masons or engineers, and who, assured of an 
ample income by their professional labour, will aim 
at the honour of making their own monument in 
amateur work done for their own joy and for the 
public good. I see no reason to suppose that the 
professional workers of the Great State will not be as 
ready to sacrifice their lives, if need be, as some 
amongst out leisure classes are ready to-day. The 
amateurs of the Great State will be the labour class, and 
the professionals of the Great State will be the leisure 
class, and all these will be one. I have faith that there 
is that in man which will build greatly on this con- 
ception, and I see no reason to set limits to the 
strivings of man under such conditions. 

It is possible that for long, if not for ever, there 
will remain many tasks necessary to civilisation 
which will call for unusual physical exertion, or 
the suffering of unpleasant physical conditions, or 
even the risk of danger. For example, we do not 
know for how long the world will be dependent upon 
coal for its supplies of energy. Let us suppose that 
the Great State will be so dependent. Does the 
supply of labour for such work present difficulties? 
The answer is that labour of this kind will be done 
in the Great State by sharing it amongst the able- 
bodied. The Great State will regard it as a thing 
impossible to condemn a man to be a coal-miner 
for life. For my own part, I always regard the de- 
votion of a definite section of our people to mining 
as a sentence of penal servitude upon them. It goes 



without saying that the Great State, if it uses coal, 
will conserve it, so that coal-mining will be reduced 
to a minimum. That minimum will be performed, 
not by a definite few for life, but by all able-bodied 
men for a year or two. Mining is much more danger- 
ous than soldiering, and calls for the application of 
the principle of conscription. The mining conscript 
will go to his term of service as a matter of duty and 
with pride. In after years he will look back upon 
his Mining Year, and because of it he will the better 
understand the society in which he lives and the 
relation of labour to life. 

Such a plan will avoid the cruelty and the waste 
of setting a definite million, or a definite half -million 
for that is what we now do in effect to do a 
particularly hard and dangerous form of work. We 
cannot afford to bury in a coal-mine without chance 
of redemption lives of we know not what possibilities. 
We cannot give every man adequate opportunity 
unless we give every man more than the prospect 
of unending toil in a single groove, and unless we 
provide every man with leisure. 

Individual saving will be both unnecessary and 
unknown in the Great State, and the form of saving 
known as insurance, necessary as it is to-day, will be 
read of in history with considerable amusement. 
What capital saving is necessary will, of course, be 
done out of the product of the State's professional 
work, and the only waste in connection with this 
capital saving will be the devotion of a certain 

8 IQ 9 


amount of labour to experiment in every branch of 
production, although amateur experiment will be 
plentiful, because of the fulness of opportunity for 
the prosecution of individual tastes and inclinations 
in the arts and sciences. The devotion of the pro- 
fessional work of the State to the best materials and 
in the best way will, of course, reduce the need for 
labour upon capital work, since replacements and 
repairs will be less needed on account of wear and tear. 
No vested interests will impede the substitution of 
one process for another, or of a better for a worse 

As need hardly be added, there will be a tremen- 
dous increase of really personal property in the Great 
State, and nothing will prevent the bequeathing 
or the inheritance of such personal property. Ob- 
viously, however, a man will not burden himself 
with more personal property than he can care for, 
and he will be quite unable to command menials 
to take charge of an excess. Thus personal prop- 
perty will naturally limit itself to those really per- 
sonal implements, ornaments, furnishings, garments, 
books, musical instruments, etc., which pertain to 
the needs, habits, and tastes of the individual. The 
means of producing professional income will belong 
to the Great State, and no private individual will, 
therefore, be able to control the work of his fellows. 
He will be able to get amateur service from a friend; 
he will have no economic lien upon any man. The 
citizens of the Great State will be amused when they 



recall days when men possessed bits of paper repre- 
senting a fraction of a municipal sewer, or of a rail- 
way line, or of a colliery plant, or of a calico shed, or 
even of a druggist's shop, and when, by virtue of 
such ownership, a man could live without continuing 
to labour. No; interest will not exist in the Great 
State, but every man will realise before he passes into 
the work of the world that he is one of the nation's 
common inheritor's, and that it will be his personal 
interest, as it is not now, to swell the value of the 
common undertaking to increase what will be 
really and not nominally a National Dividend. 

The mutation of industrial processes in the Great 
State will be an exceedingly simple matter. To-day, 
the man who invented a method of building houses 
with one-half the present amount of labour would 
condemn to ruin, and in many cases to utter destitu- 
tion and degradation, hundreds of thousands of 
families in every industrial nation, and the economic 
effects would not pass until tens of thousands of 
heads had been plunged under water. Indeed, 
under present conditions it is a mercy when dulness 
of perception or lack of enterprise of capitalists 
keeps a new process hanging fire for some years. 
In the Great State the invention of a process to 
halve the labour in a great branch of national in- 
dustry will mean simply the reduction of the work- 
ing day of the citizen as professional without the 
reduction of his income, and the pro tanto increase 
of his leisure as amateur. Thus, every new invention 



will be hailed joyfully as meaning either the decrease 
of work with the same income, or a larger income 
for the same amount of work. Let that be under- 
stood in a community of educated people, and the 
spur to invention will take us to means of accom- 
plishment as yet undreamed of. 

For the woman the Great State spells Economic 
Independence and the end of marriage as a profes- 
sion. The marriages of the Great State will be be- 
tween economic equals, and only maternity will 
release a woman from her professional duty. Mother- 
hood, of course, will be the peculiar care of the Great 
State, and for a certain number of years the mother 
will draw her professional income as mother, in ad- 
dition to an endowment for each child, and the child 
will be in no sense dependent upon the work of its 
father. I see the budding girl's education in the 
Great State regardful of her supreme function, and 
the training and nurture of the child regarded as 
the professional duty of a woman both before and 
for some time after the beginning of the age when it 
will begin systematic training in the school. Thus, 
some ten or fifteen years of the life of most adult 
women will be divorced from the professional material 
work of the State, but before the beginning and 
after the end of that period the adult woman will 
work at the profession into which she has been in- 
ducted in the manner we have already indicated. 

It is not necessary, at the end of the first decade 
of the twentieth century, to say very much by way 



of argument that it is possible for the major in- 
dustries of a nation to be unified and placed under 
State controls. Some forty years ago John Stuart 
Mill wrote that "The very idea of conducting the 
whole industry of a country by direction from a 
single centre is so obviously chimerical that no- 
body ventures to propose any mode in which it 
should be done." Since those words were written 
it has been proved abundantly that large-scale 
operations conducted under the general direction of 
a central control are not merely possible, but pos- 
sess such advantages in practice that business men 
have been led to consolidate trade after trade in all 
the great industrial nations, and especially in the 
country America, which, by reason of the magni- 
tude of her population and natural resources, pre- 
sents the largest factors to deal with. Thus the 
United States Steel Corporation, which is a private 
"State within the State," is a far larger industrial 
undertaking than would be formed if all the iron 
and steel works, including the iron-mines, of the 
United Kingdom were unified under a single public 

The truth is that the economic consolidation of 
all the factors of an industry in the State eliminates 
difficulties instead of creating them, as was supposed 
by the older economists. Thus, if we take the very 
familiar case of the Post Office, the ease with which 
its operations are conducted is often attributed to 
the inherent simplicity of the trade. As a matter 



of fact, the business of collecting, transmitting, 
and delivering letters is one which, if it were not 
organised as a single unit, would be one of infinite 
difficulty and complexity. Imagine it organised 
under the direction of some hundreds of partly com- 
petitive, partly monopolistic, local or district letter- 
delivery firms, each necessarily having accounts 
with each other, and the jurisdiction of each running 
no farther than a certain limit, more or less wide, 
and sometimes overlapping with the area of opera- 
tions of a competitor. Imagine, then, the postal 
communications of an unfortunate people collected 
by some one firm, transmitted through several others, 
and finally delivered (or not delivered) by a com- 
pany in the district of the addressee. Imagine the 
charges piled up to pay the host of unnecessary 
between-agents, the vexatious delays that would 
arise, the consequent restriction of postal facilities 
and slow growth of communication. With such an 
economic absurdity in being, we can imagine a 
second John Stuart Mill gravely pointing out in 
an economic treatise that such a complicated, such 
an inherently difficult, such a vexatious trade could 
never be sucessfully carried on by a State depart- 
ment. But this picture of a disintegrated postal 
service does not tell one-fiftieth part of the every- 
day absurdities of our organisation for the dis- 
tribution of groceries or meat or dairy produce or 
vegetables. In these, we tolerate the waste of 
hundreds of millions a year in setting millions of 



men and women to waste their time as unneces- 
sary, and often unhappy and overworked between- 
agents, who earn mean and paltry livings while 
simply serving to attenuate the streams of com- 
modities which under happier conditions they might 
swell. In the distribution of coal, for example, 
we have in practice a case much more wasteful than 
we have imagined if private were substituted for 
public letter-carrying. It is a case not merely of 
separate controls in each area, but of insane com- 
petition in each area between middle-men whose 
expenses are necessarily great, and whose ex- 
penses, from invoice forms to advertisements, have 
each and all to be paid for by the consumer in the 
final price of coal. So it falls out that often the 
consumer of coal pays a high price for the fuel even 
while the hewer of coal is obtaining a mere trifle 
for getting it. The mining of coal by the State and 
its distribution through local authorities as agents 
would, on the other hand, with an organisation 
much simpler than that of the Post Office, put coal 
at a nation's disposal cheaply and conveniently and 
with complete guarantee as to grade and suitability 
for specific use. 

And so it is with each of the industries which con- 
tribute to what ought to be the comforts of civili- 
sation but in practice are the comforts of a few 
bought by the largely wasted labour of the comfort- 
less many. To write a plain and unvarnished ac- 
count of what happens to the milk produced in the 



United Kingdom, or to the tea landed in the United 
Kingdom, or to the wool imported into the United 
Kingdom, is to describe a series of absurdly com- 
plicated and wasteful operations which in great 
part are as economically useless as to set men to dig 
holes and to fill them up again. For example, Colo- 
nial wool imported into Britain is chiefly used in 
Yorkshire, but the greater part of it is childishly 
landed, not at Hull or Goole, but in London, where 
it is played pranks with by hosts of railway compa- 
nies, carriers, warehousemen, brokers, auctioneers, etc. 
After having been played with, and pro tanto raised 
in price, it is gravely conveyed, again by competi- 
tive railway companies and carriers, to the worsted 
and woollen industries in Yorkshire. But this is to 
imagine no waste prior to the ridiculous landing 
at a port hundreds of miles from the place where 
the material is wanted. When we remember that 
in Australasia similar absurdities occur and similar 
uneconomic "livelihoods" are made out of the 
product by the wasted work of thousands, we have a 
picture of waste from start to finish which gravely 
reflects upon the competence of mankind. There is, 
of course, no need for such complications. The 
Great State of Australia could transmit its wool 
simply and surely to a wool-consuming land like the 
United Kingdom; here the wool department of the 
British Great State would obviously see that the 
wool was landed at the nearest port to its place 
of use. Not a broker, not an agent, not an auc- 



tioneer would be needed; the number of necessary 
carriers and distributors would be few through the 
simplicity of direction; the worsted and woollen 
industries would get their raw material cheaply and 
at last honestly, and thousands of men would be set 
free from work upon waste to do the economic work 
for lack of which we remain poor. 

It is impossible to multiply details in so broad a 
sketch as this, but something may usefully be said 
with regard to the simplification of exportation and 
importation. A hint of the possible improvement of 
facilities which would arise between nations properly 
organised for work is also to be found in existing 
postal arrangements. The ease and certainty with 
which postal communications are exchanged be- 
tween nations have become a commonplace; but, 
regarded in relation to the great majority of inter- 
national dealings, they are miraculous. The eco- 
nomic reasons for interchanges between geographical 
areas would remain in a world of federated Great 
States; all that would be removed would be the 
main difficulties which now impede exchange. No 
longer should we witness such sad spectacles as the 
holding-up of raw cotton by one set of agents in 
America to retard the progress of the very cotton- 
manufacturing industry upon the success of which 
the real gain of a cotton-planter naturally depends, 
or of the Brazilian government arranging for the 
solemn burning or holding-up of a fine harvest of 
coffee even while millions in the world have not 



coffee enough. Nor is it difficult to realise how, in 
a world organised for economic labour under the 
captaincy of Great States, all the factors of the 
great industries throughout the world could be co- 
ordinated, from the production of the primary 
materials to the distribution of the finished articles, 
effecting a proper relation between the producer- 
consumer and the consumer-producer, making every 
man a citizen of the world and giving all the world 
to each man's use. 

Such are the hopes which man can legitimately 
cherish for the control of the Nature from which he 
has emerged in this one of the least of Nature's 
worlds. It is a control which cannot be exercised 
effectively without co-operative effort and proper 
organisation for work. The struggle with Nature 
differentiates man from the other animals, and is 
his hope of redemption from a natural poverty. The 
struggle is too stern for us to be able to afford to 
turn from it to spend most of our time in putting 
forth useless competitive work. The little world 
to which we are confined is too poor to yield more 
than poverty for the many while the many are 
stupidly scraping together a little for the few to 
enjoy. It is not a world of plenty, such as is often 
pictured by sentimentalists, in which Nature is 
bountiful and men naturally wealthy. It is a world 
of pain, in which a grim Nature stalks relentless, 
red of tooth and claw; a world so limited in re- 
sources that, until modern science had given us 



some degree of mastery, the majority of men were 
necessarily poor. To-day, with the endowment of 
Science at our disposal, we know how to win plenty 
from an unwilling world. We know how; but, even 
while we know, we neglect to put our hands to the 
necessary labour. To organise for work thus be- 
comes the primary duty of our modern civilisations, 
and organisation for work is Socialism. A State of 
ill-informed but drilled servile units, under the 
guidance of a specialised bureaucracy, could doubt- 
less do effective work and abolish poverty as we 
know it to-day, but it would not be the Great State 
of our desire. The Great State can only be a nation 
of free men, educated to the full development and 
accentuation of their inherent inequalities, equal in 
point of economic independence and opportunity, 
understanding the necessity of continuous and un- 
remitting labour, and, therefore, organised for work 
as the only means of escape from unnecessary toil. 





IT is perhaps necessary before considering how 
this ideal Great State, which is the common basis 
of all these essays, may best provide for the making 
of new knowledge, to discuss the question as to how 
the present or the future rulers of the State are to 
be brought to such an appreciation of the meaning 
of new knowledge new science, whether of extra- 
human nature or of man's own nature, history, 
and capacities as to understand that it is the one 
factor upon which the happiness and healthy de- 
velopment of mankind depend. I leave this pre- 
liminary discussion the more willingly to other 
writers, since I confess that after spending the best 
part of my energies during nearly fifty years in 
endeavouring to increase the number of my fellow- 
citizens who have arrived at a just estimate of the 
value of new knowledge and of the consequent need 
for the organisation of its pursuit by the expendi- 
ture of public funds, I am disappointed with the 

There has been a little, but a very little progress. 
The mass of the public, both those who should know 



better and those who cannot be expected to, have 
persistently confused the teaching of the elements of 
existing science with what is a very different thing 
namely, the search for new science, the actual crea- 
tion of knowledge which is not merely new to the 
ignorant, but new to the most advanced and capable 
investigators. It has been the rule that all effort 
and apparent success in securing and organising 
means for the creation of new knowledge are sooner 
or later misappropriated by those who are bent upon 
teaching what is already known. Throughout the 
country the holders of both old and new professor- 
ships, in both ancient and modern universities, have 
been remorselessly compelled to perform the work 
of schoolmasters and examination-grinders, and as a 
rule for less pay than is received by the latter. The 
attempt to make the university professor an investi- 
gator and creator of new knowledge (in accordance 
with the dictum of Fichte *) has failed in consequence 
of the overwhelming number of those who are able 
to exercise control in the details of these matters and 
have either no conception of what creation of new 
knowledge means or else have deliberately deter- 
mined that it shall not go on and that all the re- 
sources of our universities and all the strength of 

1 Fichte, in his essay on "The University to be Founded in Berlin," 
says that a university is not a place where instruction is given, but 
an institution for the training of experts in the art of making knowl- 
edge, and that this end is attained by the association of the pupil 
with his professor in the inquiries which the latter initiates and 



their promising young men shall be used in the task 
of preparing indifferent youths to pass examinations. 

It is perhaps natural that the unqualified persons 
who, as committees and councils and congregations, 
are allowed to control the expenditure of university 
endowments should so frequently destroy the oppor- 
tunity which those endowments naturally afford and 
were intended to afford to the men who are capable 
of creating new knowledge. These managers and 
controllers honestly confuse the teaching of the 
elements of science with the making of new knowl- 
edge. 1 They do not know either that this making 
of new knowledge is of prime importance to the well- 
being of the State, nor that, when looked at from the 
point of view of higher education, there is no in- 
fluence, no training, no development so important 
and so entirely without possible substitute, as that 
arising from the association of younger men in re- 
search and investigation with an older gifted and 
authoritative investigator who makes them co- 
workers with him in some great line of inquiry. 

Not only do we suffer in this country from the fact 
that the control of higher educational institutions is 

1 1 read to-day in the Times the self-congratulation of the Ox- 
ford tutors and lecturers, who have given up a large part of their 
long (very long) vacation to teaching working-class men and 
women whom they have induced to come to Oxford and take 
lessons from them. It is declared that "the respect for knowledge" 
(whose?) and the eagerness to acquire it shown by the working-class 
people was most gratifying. Leaving aside the question as to the 
value of these studies, it is regrettable that the money and re- 
sources of a university should be thus dissipated. 
9 125 


in incapable hands, but it is the fact that no leader in 
the State ever shows any sympathy with discovery or 
takes any step to promote its increase. In Germany, 
where already every university is mainly organised 
as a series of institutes of scientific research and dis- 
covery, the Emperor, at the centenary of the Uni- 
versity of Berlin, declared that he desired to see 
there more institutions for pure research, whose 
directors should be untrammelled by the demands 
of ordinary teaching. After a truly admirable ac- 
count of the splendid work done by the University 
of Berlin in the regeneration of the fatherland, he 
himself did something the like of which no prince 
or statesman has done in Great Britain since the 
time of Henry VIII.: he handed over to the 
university (which already has an income of 140,000 
a year) a vast sum of money half a million pounds 
sterling for the creation there of institutes of scien- 
tific research; and he pledged himself that this was 
only a provision for initial expenditure and that 
the Imperial government would find further money 
for the support and development of these institu- 
tions so set on foot. 

What I feel is that, in spite of all that has been 
said and done in the last fifty years, no one in Great 
Britain would dream of expecting such a provision 
to be made for scientific research in London as that 
recently made by the German Emperor in Berlin. 
It seems to me that the present British governing 
class, whether they label themselves with one political 



name or another, cannot be imagined as acting in 
the spirit of the Emperor William. If they were 
told of what he has done in this matter, they would 
not believe it. They have not arrived at the first 
step in conceiving of the possibility of such ex- 
penditure expenditure not to teach and train pro- 
fessional engineers, chemists, or doctors (that is a 
thing our politicians might understand, though not 
approve), but expenditure for the sole purpose of 
creating new knowledge, knowledge pure and simple, 
not as the so-called "handmaid" of commerce, 
industry, and the arts of war, but knowledge as the 
greatest and best thing that man can create 
knowledge as the Master who must be obeyed. 

And whilst I feel something like despair in regard 
to the appreciation of knowledge by our present 
form of government and state organisation which is 
far advanced along the line of the progressive 
"Culte de 1' Incompetence" so firmly traced by M. 
Faguet, 1 of the Academic Frangaise, I find no reason 
to hope that, when the democracy has, in this coun- 
try, gained more complete power, there will be any 
change for the better. At present the "masses" are, 
if possible, more ignorant of the meaning of science 
and the need for making new science, new knowledge, 
than are the "classes." As I have said, I must leave 
it to others amongst my fellow-essayists to suggest 
how or when the toiling millions of the British Em- 
pire or of all civilised Europe, Asia, and America 

1 See his book with that title. 


together, are going to arrive at, first of all, an under- 
standing of what the "progress of science" really 
means and what it does not mean, as distinguished 
from mere pedagogic instruction, and, secondly, at 
such a desire for that progress as will lead them to 
sanction the annual expenditure, out of public re- 
sources, on the making of new knowledge, of as large 
a sum as we now spend annually on the army and 

Supposing that very large sums were available in 
the new Great State for devotion to the business 
of making new knowledge, what would be probably 
the best way or the most promising way in which 
such money could be spent ? What sort of an organi- 
sation would be required? I will venture to indulge 
in a speculative consideration of this remote but at 
the same time interesting problem. 

It seems to me that what we who believe in the 
vital importance of the making of new knowledge 
must aim at is, in the first place, the selection by the 
State of really great and specially gifted investigators 
or makers of new knowledge, in such number as 
lavish provision of stipend and means of research can 
secure, as ' ' servants of the State. ' ' Secondly, we must 
aim at the selection of a regular succession of young 
men who have the gift or talent of discovery of new 
knowledge, to be associated with the older men in 
their work and in the course of time to succeed to 
the positions held by the older men. 



Let me at once say that it seems to be quite certain 
that the special mental quality which enables its 
possessor to discover new things, to make new knowl- 
edge of nature and of man, is not a common one. 
Probably many youths have it in a greater or less de- 
gree, and may be trained or encouraged so as to 
develop it. But the possession of it in a marked 
degree so as to make it worth while to secure the ser- 
vices of the possessor for a career of investigation is 
extremely rare. That is a reason why every care 
should be taken to discover those who possess it and 
to enable them to exercise their capacity. There is 
no reason to suppose that the quality of mind we look 
for is not as abundantly distributed among the poorer 
classes as among the well-to-do. The State must 
cast its net widely so as to include the whole popu- 
lation without distinction of class or sex. But the 
essence of success lies in wise and honest selection 
directed to this one quality or gift. How can such a 
selection be effected ? 

It seems to me that the necessary first step must be 
the creation of a limited number of institutes of 
research in specific subjects such as are recognised 
to-day (and may be further divided and rearranged 
hereafter) under the names, Astronomy. Mathemat- 
ics, Physics (several), Chemistry (several), Geology, 
Zoology, Botany, Physiology, Pathology, Anthro- 
pology, Psychology, Archaeology (several), Oceanog- 
raphy, and so on. Necessarily the provision for each 
branch of these subjects would at first be incomplete, 



but the number would have to be increased rapidly 
after the first institutes were created, and from the 
first it would be laid down that no institute was ex- 
pected to carry on work in more than a limited por- 
tion of the subjects indicated by its title. 

For each of these institutes which would at first 
be situated in London, but would be multiplied in 
number and established in every large centre of popu- 
lation in the course of time a director or chief inves- 
tigator would have to be chosen by the officials of the 
State. This would be the most critical step in the 
whole scheme, since the entire future success not only 
of each institute, but of the whole body of institutes, 
must be affected by this first selection. The avowed 
and unalterable purpose of the officials who make this 
selection must be to obtain the one man in each case, 
from the whole civilised world, who is proved and 
known to be the most capable and active discoverer 
or maker of new knowledge in his subject. Steps 
must be taken to ensure the purity and wisdom of the 
selection. The effect of a correct selection in such 
a case has been seen in one or two instances in the 
past. In this country, through the personal influence 
of the Prince Consort, the husband of Queen Victoria, 
a really great investigator was appointed as head 
of the Royal College of Chemistry, founded some 
sixty years ago and now incorporated with the 
Imperial College of Science. This was Hoffman, 
a German, who came from Bonn (he was born and 
trained at Giessen) to London and made at the col- 



lege not only invaluable discoveries himself, but 
trained chemists like himself. His intellectual tradi- 
tion or heritage remains still with us, although he 
himself was allowed to leave us and to accept a more 
honoured and honourable post in Bonn and later in 
Berlin. Similarly such men as Johannes Muller, of 
Berlin, the biologist, and the Cambridge successive 
leaders in physics Stokes, Kelvin, Clark Maxwell, 
Raleigh, and J. J. Thomson exhibit (as many other 
instances do) the generative activity of a really great 
investigator on those who work with him. There- 
fore in the first instance the State must offer what- 
ever salary is necessary (say, in each case 5,000 a 
year the salary of those numerous and admirable 
officials, H. M. judges) and whatever laboratory, 
apparatus, and assistants (say to the equivalent in 
each case of 10,000 a year) in order to secure the 
greatest discoverer in each line, as head of the 
corresponding "institute." In such a matter the 
State officials responsible must obtain the advice 
of the leading makers of new knowledge of all parts 
of the world and form a judgment. 

Once we have got our great heads or directors of 
institutes, the scheme will work successfully. It will 
be the duty of the director of each institute to receive 
a certain number of selected "workers" into his 
laboratory (or museum, library, or workshop) and to 
associate them with himself in investigation. These 
workers must be selected from among those who vol- 
unteer for the career. I assume that in the new Great 


State there would be efficient general instruction 
in schools and colleges of a qualifying character, and 
that it would be possible for the teachers to nominate 
likely young men of not less than twenty-one years 
of age to proceed to the State Research Institutions. 
Every State college should have the right of nomi- 
nating a number in proportion to the number in each 
subject of its graduating or final class. I would have 
the State pay these youths (at present prices) 150 
a year for two years. I will suppose that every 
director of an institute is obliged to receive six such 
students a year as probationers. At the end of two 
years the director would decide either to accept one 
or more of his "probationers" as junior assistants 
or cut short their career. Every director should 
have ten junior assistants, paid 300 a year each 
and holding office for no more than three years; 
four senior assistants, paid 600 a year each, appointed 
for life; and two assistant directors, paid 1,200 a 
year each, also for life. The directors those ap- 
pointed after the original nominations should re- 
ceive 2,000, rising to 5,000 a year, according to 
standing and the approval by other researchers of 
their work, and be appointed for life. 

A young man, once admitted as a junior assistant, 
would have an attractive and well-paid professional 
career before him, his success in which would be 
largely determined by the capacity he displayed. 
Such a career should attract the ablest men. The 
promotion of junior to senior assistant should be in 



the hands of the director, it being open to him to 
appoint either one of his own juniors or one from 
another laboratory. The same method would be 
followed in appointing to assistant directorships. 
But the post of director of any institute should 
be made on the recommendation of the whole body 
of existing directors of institutes and submitted 
to an independent State official who should have 
power to confirm or to request a reconsideration of 
the claims of possible candidates. The post of 
director of an institute should always be regarded 
as open to any investigator of high distinction in 
the subject to which the institute is assigned, what- 
ever his nationality or official antecedents. The 
council or senate of "directors" would accept as 
one of their most solemn duties the selection of the 
ablest man as director to fill any vacancy. 

As no fees would be received by any of the directors 
in connection with their work, it is difficult to make 
sure of a standard of efficiency being maintained in 
such institutions as I suggest; nor is it obvious, at 
once, by what precautious jobbery and nepotism 
in the appointments may be rendered unlikely to 
occur. In the German universities, the professors 
who practically elect or invite a new professor to 
fill a vacancy are pecuniarily interested in the fees 
of students, and, therefore, in the success and reputa- 
tion of the university. Some stimulus of this kind 
might be applied to the State "Institutes of Re- 
search" here suggested, by the award of honours 


and of extension of premises, increase of staff and 
money-grant for expenses, to those institutes which 
in a given period, say seven years, had made the 
most important discoveries. The publication of 
results would be at State expense, and every in- 
stitute would produce its own series of memoirs. 
Expeditions, explorations, and special enterprises of 
the kind would be undertaken by each institute 
independently, and the budget of each would com- 
prise funds assigned to such purposes. 

Such a scheme seems clumsy and mechanical 
when sketched in a few words, but with slight 
modifications to be added as to time of tenure, pen- 
sion, retirement, etc., as to government and source and 
amount of funds the most successful centres of re- 
search at the present day in Europe, such as the 
Institut Parseur in Paris, the British Museum, the 
national libraries of great States, and the laboratories 
of German universities, are practically conducted in the 
spirit of the regulations here suggested, if not direct- 
ed by any written laws embodying such regulations. 

A view about "original research" and "oppor- 
tunities for investigation" exists with which I dis- 
agree and should wish to criticise. There is a notion 
that a large proportion of young men, such as 
university students, are capable of doing valuable 
research and making new knowledge if they only are 
given place and material upon which to work and a 


Let us make at once a broad distinction between 
the educational value to the individual of a brief 
contact with and participation in actual serious 
scientific investigation, on the one hand, and the 
importance to the State of the provision of a per- 
manent body of selected, specially competent in- 
vestigators appointed for life to high professional 
office in the public service. The realisation of the 
second of these two desiderata will secure that of 
the first named. Youths will be attracted to qualify 
as "probationers" in large numbers, with the view of 
having their capacity tested, and thus possibly 
entering on a great profession. On the other hand, 
whilst all will benefit by the initial training in re- 
search, only a few namely, those who are found to 
be really capable of valuable work will be definitely 
received as permanent members of the profession. 
At the present moment, even in our great universi- 
ties, we do not often get beyond the stage of produc- 
ing probationers. There is a tendency in our uni- 
versities, and colleges of like rank, for professors, who 
should be themselves great and active makers of new 
knowledge, to spend their energies in inducing 
students to do "odds and ends" of original investi- 
gation with a view to advertising the fact that the 
professors' laboratories or workrooms are full and 
their ministrations appreciated. Such fictitious ac- 
tivity in research can be produced by a quite inferior 
"professor" who devotes himself to the task of 
rendering "research" amusing, agreeable, and ap- 


parently easy to the unfledged and really incapable 
student. This undesirable form of activity arises 
from the desire to satisfy a demand for research as 
the condition of pecuniary support and approval by 
the governing bodies of colleges and universities, 
whilst really adequate organisation and provision for 
the pursuit of scientific research as a serious pro- 
fession is withheld. In a system of research insti- 
tutes (such as exists in Germany), properly financed 
and organised, the "professor" or "director" does 
not make himself the merely complacent host and 
finisher of his pupils' little efforts in research (like a 
drawing-master who suggests, superintends, and com- 
pletes a young lady's "works of art"), but is himself 
pursuing a definite and serious investigation. He 
receives into his laboratory younger men whom he 
regards as really competent, and joins their work to 
his in the definite problems which he has set himself 
to solve. At the same time the young man who 
conies to such a head of a laboratory (or museum or 
other workshop) with a suggestion of his own as to a 
subject for investigation may be received and given 
every facility and assistance if it should appear to 
the professor that the subject is one which comes 
within his outlook and that the would-be investi- 
gator is competent. This system I saw at work when 
I studied in the "seventies" with Carl Ludwig at 
Leipzig, with Gegenbaur at Gena, and earlier with 
Strieker at Vienna. It is well known as the system 
by which the professors in German universities attain 



their results and I did my best thirty years ago 
to introduce it at University College in London and 
later at Oxford. 

What I would deprecate is the notion that the 
making of new knowledge of any great value or 
amount is an easy thing and one which any young 
man who fancies that he has the talent can really 
achieve. No doubt in such work every kind and de- 
gree of talent can be utilised for what it is worth, and 
there must be hewers of wood and drawers of water 
in this as in other kinds of enterprise and organisa- 
tion. But it is true that selection of real quality and 
the organisation of leadership is essential in the 
attempt to insure, by State funds, an increase in dis- 
covery and the creation of new knowledge. The 
notion that the needs of the State in this matter can 
be satisfied by a few groups of temporary workers in 
pleasant universities, or by, according to every am- 
bitious and untested youth, an independent position 
enabling him to follow out his possibly valuable but 
probably ill-founded programme of inquiry, must 
lead to sterility and ultimate discredit of all provision 
by the State for such purposes. 

Another mistake which I should wish to warn my 
readers to avoid is that of giving ''scholarships" of 
from 100 to 200 a year tenable for two or three 
or five years by young men who are supposed to 
pursue "original investigations" whilst thus sup- 
ported. This giving of scholarships is mere waste 
of money unless two other definite provisions are 


made viz., (i) that of professional posts tenable for 
life and capable of attracting men of the highest 
ability to adopt the profession, and, (2) laboratories 
or institutions of research directed by first-rate 
investigators where the " scholars" may be trained 
by association in the work of these specially gifted 
investigators. The present government has pro- 
vided a modest sum to such public departments as 
the Board of Agriculture which is being, in my 
opinion, wasted by those departments in a sort of 
charitable doles to "scholars" all over the country 
since no attempt is made to face the essential and 
far more difficult and costly problem of setting up 
adequate institutions directed by men of exceptional 
ability under whom the "scholars" may work and 
develop. The scheme is a shirking of responsibility 
and a mere piece of popular bribery in place of real 
constructive effort. 

What we require and what such a scheme as I 
have sketched would provide is a fair and free 
chance to every young man to enter upon the career 
of "a maker of new knowledge" whilst at the same 
time insuring that the definite admission to the 
profession shall only be open to those who prove 
their fitness for it during probation. It further pro- 
vides that the professional career shall be so well paid 
and furnished with the means of research that the 
ablest men who have the necessary talent shall prefer 
it to other professions and means of livelihood. 

The scheme admits of large modification and 


adaptation. Perhaps it would be as well to provide 
ab initio that any one of any age may be nominated 
as a probationer by a duly recognised authority, 
subject to the condition that two-thirds of the 
nominations shall be reserved to candidates under 
the age of twenty-one years; and it might also be 
desirable under special restrictions to extend a candi- 
date 's period of probation to four years. 


BY C. J. BOND, F.R.C.S. 



THE twofold object of the following essay is to 
put forward a worthy conception of Health in its 
widest and fullest sense, and to sketch in brief out- 
line some of the possibilities which will exist in the 
coming time for the attainment of a healthier Life 
by the citizens of the Great State. 

What then must be our conception of Health? 

Knowledge concerning disease has increased so 
much in recent years, and the focussing of individual 
and public attention on disease organisms and in- 
sanitary surroundings has been so keen, that there 
exists to-day a real danger of our losing sight of the 
true proportions of the Health Problem. We are 
apt to forget that, while the Healthy Life includes 
recovery from the attacks of disease organisms, it 
should also for the citizens of the modern State 
embrace resistance to every one of the injurious 



influences in the environment which tend to depress 
vital activity or to direct it into wrong channels. 
And it includes even more than this. Health is more 
than mere existence: it means in its widest sense 
"Joy in Life"; it presupposes a capacity of response 
to the beautiful, the health-giving, the soul-elevating 
stimuli of the surrounding world, as well as the power 
of overcoming the depressing factors which make for 

This is no merely modern view. Let us glance for a 
moment at the attitude of the old Greeks to this same 
problem. The citizens of Athens in her best days 
conceived of the true, the healthy Life as a har- 
monious development of mental and bodily powers, 
and as a true adjustment of the man to his environ- 
ment. Self-realisation meant to the Greek the union 
of a virtuous soul in a beautiful body, and this was 
the outcome of the ordered use of natural faculties 
under the control of a well-balanced mind. It is 
difficult for us to realise the conditions of life which 
prevailed among the slave population in the poorer 
quarters of ancient Athens and imperial Rome. 
We have reason to think that the less fortunate 
inhabitants of even these noble cities were familiar 
with squalor, with poverty and disease; but in spite 
of this there can be little doubt that if the free 
Greek or Roman citizen were to catch a glimpse of 
life in our crowded cities to-day, though he would 
be lost in wonder at the industrial activity, at the 
care for the sick and the suffering, and at the com- 



plexity of our modern life, he would no less certainly 
marvel at the dim eye, the inelastic step, the listless 
demeanour of many of our toiling workers and he 
would read in these tokens the signs of a reduced 
vitality, of a lost joyous activity, and of an absence 
of that Harmony to which he was so deeply attached. 
Highly trained in physical culture, familiar with 
fountains and baths, he would wonder also at the 
lack of personal cleanliness, the dirt, the ugliness of 
our surroundings, the evidences of monotonous toil, 
and he would search in vain in our crowded courts 
and sunless streets for the grace of movement and 
the dignity of bearing which come from life in the 
air and the sun. And he would marvel yet more 
when he learned that those whom he met were not 
slaves, but free citizens, and that they might, if 
they wished, be rulers in their own city and masters in 
their own homes. 

But, after all, this Life of Health and Harmony and 
full development was only realised by a small portion 
of the Greek community. In spite of its democratic 
form of government, the "Many," even in Athens, 
never lived the fuller Life, and this was indeed one 
of the causes of her fall. We now realise that the 
possibility of a healthy and happy Life must be within 
the reach of every citizen, rich and poor, in every 
community if that community is to escape the 
stagnation and decay which eventually overtook 
these ancient civilisations. The Greek knew but 
little of the evolution of Human societies; he was 



ignorant of the forces which control organic develop- 
ment and of the real causes of disease and decay. 
Although we may fail to apply our knowledge, we, 
on the other hand, do at any rate know to-day that 
Health depends on successful adaptation, on adjust- 
ment to a very complex social as well as natural 
environment, and we are beginning to realise that 
Perfect Health means living in harmony with all that 
is best in our physical, intellectual, social, and moral 

If, then, modern life is the outcome of ages of evolu- 
tion and struggle, if healthy Life is a matter of 
adjustment to both good and bad stimuli, then the 
pursuit of Health must be carried out in accordance 
with the laws which control Hereditary capacity and 
Adaptive Response in other fields of human activity. 

Neither are we left in entire ignorance as to what 
these life-controlling forces are. We know that all 
adaptation, all individual and social development, 
depends on the mutual interaction of certain factors. 
These are : 

(i). Hereditarily transmitted capacity to re- 
spond in different ways and in different de- 
grees to different environmental stimuli. 

(2). The Conditions under which this Capacity 
is exercised. 

(3). The Acquirements which are made by 
the individual or the Community as the result 
of the exercise of this capacity of Response. 



(4). The various Environmental Stimuli which 
have to be responded to, the factors towards 
which adjustment has to be made. 

These are the biological foundations on which the 
truly Healthy Life must be built. These are the 
factors with which all who attempt to reconstruct 
Human Society must reckon, and it is on these lines 
that the interests of the citizen must be promoted 
and secured in the Great State. We must safeguard 
the supply of innate individual Capacity. We must 
stimulate the exercise of this Capacity in all healthy 
directions. We must improve the conditions under 
which the Response of Life is carried on. We must 
utilise to the utmost the Acquirements already made. 
But this means that we must deal with both the in- 
dividual and his environment, we must invoke the 
aid of Individualism as well as Socialism in the 
Great State. Now if it be true, as it undoubtedly is, 
that the conditions of modern industrial life tend to 
depress rather than call forth the highest activities of 
our citizens; and if it be also true, as we know it to 
be, that, while the individual does to a certain extent 
control his environment, the environment also helps 
to determine the type of individual, then we must 
recognise the disquieting fact that present-day condi- 
tions of Life in our large cities, although they may be 
consistent with a low death-rate, do not make for 
national health in its widest and best sense. Be- 


fore we can set up a standard of Life worthy of the 
citizens of the Great State, two things must happen. 
Individual capacity to live the fuller life must be 
further developed, and the conditions under which 
this capacity for wider existence is exercised must 
be vastly 'mproved at both ends of the social scale. 
If then, bearing in mind our biological limitations, 
we define Perfect Health as that state of body and 
mind which is most resistent to injurious and most 
responsive to beneficial stimuli, we see at once that 
it is not enough to banish disease organisms or to 
bring about immunity against infection. We must 
not rest content with the removal and purification of 
sewage, with the regulation of food and water supply, 
the ventilation of factories, and the control of un- 
healthy occupations and of licensed houses, we must 
do these things, but we must also insure that the at- 
mosphere of the Home and the Workroom is flooded 
with moral sunshine; we must strive by intellectual 
effort and by artistic surroundings to prevent atrophy 
of mind as well as stunting of bodily stature. 

It is here that we come in contact with all that is 
meant by Education, with Ethical training, with 
Intellectual culture, with progressive Legislation 
in fact, with all the factors which make for human 
progress. Judged by this standard, the parent, the 
schoolmaster, the artist, the man of science, the re- 
ligious instructor, the municipa* councillor, the 
legislator, all are or should be physicians of the mind 
or of the body. 



For there are only two ways of bringing about 
harmonious adjustment in matters of life and con- 
duct as well as in matters of health. We must 
either adapt ourselves to our surroundings, or we 
must adapt our surroundings to ourselves. The 
first is the method of primitive organic evolution. 
Whereas it is by the second method that social man 
has been enabled to surround himself with the com- 
plex environment of civilisation and with the possi- 
bilities of physical and psychical development that 
civilisation brings. 

There is no more striking object-lesson in the 
different application of these two evolutionary 
methods than that which is afforded by the atti- 
tude of civilised and uncivilised societies respec- 
tively to harmful environmental agencies like alcohol 
and disease. In the primitive community, mutual 
protection and co-operation (the conditions which 
favour recovery from disease) hardly exist. If 
primitive man, like the animal, contracts disease, 
he perishes, hence he must be preadapted, and 
through the stern process of natural selection in 
weeding out susceptible individuals he has evolved 
an innate resistance to those diseases of which he 
has had sufficient racial experience. But with so- 
cial man it is different; improved medical treatment, 
mutual protection, and care during sickness all 
favour recovery from disease. It follows that the 
necessity for being Immune by nature grows less 
as the possibility of becoming Immune by Art grows 



greater. Hence it comes about that civilised man 
has evolved a capacity of acquiring Immunity by 
individual experience in such diseases as allow of 
recovery, while he still retains some of the natural 
Immunity against lethal diseases possessed by his 
earlier ancestors. 

One long chapter in the history of civilisation 
contains the record of the gradually increasing power 
of control by Social man over that part of his en- 
vironment which has to do with disease, and the 
success which has attended his efforts to banish 
disease must provide the sanction for further effort 
along these same lines of environmental control. 
But such methods take us further and further away 
from crude natural selection. Constant vigilance 
on the part of Society is urgently needed if we are to 
escape the dangers of decadence of capacity and re- 
laxation of individual effort which modern social 
conditions render possible. Moreover, such methods 
depend on mutual co-operation and they involve some 
curtailment of individual liberty. For this reason 
in the coming age it will be wrong to be ill if the ill- 
ness be avoidable. Under the old regime of natural 
selection the penalty for non-adaptation was extinc- 
tion, and, though under the new regime of mutual co- 
operation and environmental control destruction may 
be avoided, yet some sort of penalty must still remain ; 
either the individual or society or both must suffer in 
the long run for the lack of efficiency and the want of 
adaptation which ill health implies. As under the old 



regime so under the new, the price of harmonious 
adaptation to a widening environment in other 
words, the price of health in a progressive com- 
munity is constant vigilance. Unless the citizen is 
immune by nature, or unless he becomes immune by 
Art, or until the organisms of disease are permanently 
banished from the environment of the Great State, 
the struggle must still continue, though the methods 
of warfare may become far less cruel. And when 
the victory is secured, one result, and that perhaps 
the greatest, will be the setting free of a larger 
volume of vital energy in new departments of Life 
and Labour, new springs of Being, new responses 
to higher calls in religion, science, and art, and then 
will gush forth again the eternal fountain of hope 
and of joy in Life, which has now for a season sunk 
so low. 

Our very familiarity with suffering and dis- 
harmony has clouded our vision: we accept the 
presence of disease as necessary, and we forget the 
enormous waste of human life which these ages of 
wandering in the wilderness of disease have caused. 
We can with difficulty gauge the gain in capacity for 
productive labour that the saving of even a few in- 
fant lives implies. Ignorance and Vice, Vice-caused 
disease and disease-produced Vice these have also 
contributed towards the bankruptcy in Health 
of our city toilers and city dwellers. Disease and 
Poverty, leanness of body and leanness of soul, 
these work hand in hand, and these also must dis- 


appear in the Great State in the new era of Free 
Trade in human capacity as well as in material 

But besides these failures in adjustment to 
diseases which come from without, there are also 
disharmonies which come from within. There are 
deficient capacities as well as injurious surroundings, 
there are errors in individual development of an 
hereditary kind. 

These inborn deficiencies represent isolated flaws 
in that mosaic pattern of mental and bodily con- 
stitution which recent biological research tells us is 
the hereditary equipment of each individual; they 
may even represent a total failure in hereditary 
design, such as we find in the innately criminal and 
the congenitally feeble-minded. For such as these 
there will be neither use nor room in the Great State. 
Even now the problem of how to eliminate this 
residuum of human Unimprovability urgently presses 
for solution. The drain of unproductive existence 
on productive activity is already far too great, far 
greater than is necessary, as we believe, to favour 
the growth or to call forth the exercise of benevo- 
lence. The altruistic feelings of mankind can be 
more efficiently promoted by exercise in other fields 
and on worthier objects. 

Man has no more power to overtake the results of 
anti-social conduct in the field of race production 
than in any other field of human activity. Here, as 
elsewhere, the only way of escape is to set about the 



elimination of capacity for anti-social conduct, or, if 
this be as yet impossible, to prevent as far as may 
be its exercise by those unfortunate individuals who 
inherit it. Our hope of success lies, not in a return 
to 'the old regime of natural selection, but in an ex- 
tension of the newer method of environmental con- 
trol. We must learn, and that quickly, to apply to 
the problem of Race Culture those methods which 
we have already employed successfully in our 
struggle with disease. If, owing to lack of knowl- 
edge, further advance along Positive Eugenic lines 
should be at present too difficult, we can at any rate 
make a beginning by preventing the perpetuation 
of those characters which lead to race destruction. 

It is impossible to consider this vital problem of 
Race Culture in its relation to National Health with- 
out recognising that a movement of world-wide im- 
portance has set in in nearly all civilised and pro- 
gressive communities, in the direction of a voluntary 
reduction of the human birth-rate. This movement 
is unconnected with questions of food-supply, stand- 
ards of life, or human fertility. It has originated in 
the Upper and Middle Social Classes among the more 
educated portion of the population as the outcome of 
recently acquired knowledge concerning the trans- 
mission of human life from parents to offspring and 
the application of this knowledge to a definite end, 
the voluntary control of the family. From our 
present point of view it is of especial interest because 
it affords another instance of the gradual emergence 


of modern society from the control of crude natural 
selection. It is another example of the extension 
of the method of environmental control by Social 
man into regions of human life formerly almost 
entirely free from such interference, and, like all 
other movements which interfere with the free play 
of natural selection and which aim at rendering 
the conditions of life less exacting, it is fraught 
with great possibilities for both good and harm. 

Like other examples of the exercise of environ- 
mental control by Social man, this movement must 
also be judged by the motives which inspire the 
conduct in each individual case. If these be un- 
worthy, if the thing aimed at be selfish indulgence, 
if the satisfaction of individual desires be set be- 
fore social welfare, then it is a crime against society. 
If, on the other hand, the end aimed at be better 
chances of Life for offspring, if due regard be paid to 
the relative claims of individual and social welfare, 
then neither the verdict of public opinion nor 
ecclesiastical disapproval can convert the exercise of 
foresight and control, when prompted by worthy 
motives, into an immoral act. 

But, however we may judge of this movement, it 
will eventually be judged by its fruits, by the effect 
it has on those communities which practise it. 

Whether it be destined to bring about the self- 
destruction or the self -renovation of Human Society 
will depend on the type of citizen it tends to perpet- 
uate that is to say, whether it encourages capacity 


in the individual to appreciate right aims and to 
exercise self-control in right directions much also 
depends on whether Public opinion appreciates in 
time the magnitude of the movement and directs it 
along right, that is, along Eugenic lines. For, though 
at present it is chiefly limited to the Middle and 
Upper classes of Society, it is gradually reaching the 
Lower strata and will eventually permeate the 
whole. And herein lies a possibility for good. The 
movement may provide a way of escape from some 
of the greatest of the burdens which oppress Hu- 
manity. The warlike nations are those in whom an 
expanding population is shut up within circum- 
scribed boundaries, and increase of population has a 
greater influence than peace tribunals on the Peace 
of the world. Other vital sociological problems, such 
as the restriction of competition, the possibility of 
earlier marriage, and the attainment of a higher 
standard of Life by the working classes, and the 
reduction of Prostitution are all also intimately 
related to this question of the voluntary control of 
the birth-rate. This at any rate is certain, that the 
voice of Public opinion and the voice of Social custom, 
if they are fundamentally opposed to true Social 
welfare, will eventually fall on deaf ears. 

Some students of Sociology have sought in this 
voluntary reduction of the Human birth-rate an 
explanation of the decay of past civilisations. It is 
true that Empires and civilisations, like individuals, 
die from above downwards. But the real cause of 



the decay of nations, as of families, is growth of 
environmental control that is, opportunity for 
satisfying desires out of proportion to natural 
capacity to use these opportunities to worthy and 
public ends. Material civilisation outstrips ethical 
civilisation. The fatal facilities afforded by luxury 
lead to a damping down of effort in worthy directions, 
and unless innate capacity rises above its sur- 
roundings this leads eventually to stagnation and 

In so far, then, as this exercise of voluntary control 
over the increase of the population is exerted for 
selfish ends, it does constitute a grave danger to 
Society ; if, on the other hand, its aim be the removal 
of some of the worst results of unrestricted compe- 
tition and faulty life conditions, it may, if properly 
directed, prove a powerful means of progress. 

The danger lies not in the increased power of 
environmental control nor in its employment in 
the field of race culture, but in not using the increased 
power to right ends; and the remedy is to be sought, 
not in a return to Natural Selection, but in a further 
extension of the newer method of artificial selection, 
under proper control. 

The only efficient way of dealing with this impor- 
tant problem of the voluntary control of the human 
birth-rate is to bring about such social and in- 
dustrial conditions as will render the fulfilment of 
the duty of race production and of rearing healthy 
offspring economically possible, on the one hand, 



and to develop by Eugenic methods, and to foster 
the exercise of an innate love of parenthood and a 
sense of parental responsibility in the citizens, on 
the other. We must, in fact, deal with this as with 
all Social problems, by attacking it on its individual 
as well as on its environmental aspect. If the social 
and economic conditions of modern life are such that 
a high standard of parental responsibility cannot be 
exercised, the mere substitution of easier circum- 
stances will not evolve a love for parenthood in 
citizens in whom it is by Nature absent. 

This in effect means that the whole attitude of 
society to these vital problems of sex and parent- 
hood needs revision in the daylight of modern 
knowledge and testing by modern conceptions of 
public and private duty. At the same time we 
must not forget that in thus speaking as though 
we ourselves were in this way or that solving social 
problems, what we really mean is that in this way 
or that these problems are in the course of social 
evolution solving themselves. 

We may now summarise our conceptions of In- 
dividual and Communal health by regarding it as 
harmonious adjustment on the part of the individual 
citizen and the State to both the good and the bad 
agencies in the environment, and not merely as 
the absence of insanitary surroundings and of 
disease organisms. But Public and Private Health 
so regarded is under present social conditions un- 
attainable except by a few of the more richly en- 

11 i57 


dowed or happily circumstanced members of the com- 
munity. Like the slaves of ancient Athens, a large 
part of Society is still disinherited as regards the 
legacies of Health. Under present industrial and 
social conditions healthy activities may be over- 
exercised, and healthy desires may go unsatisfied. 
Capacity for labour, over-exercised to the point 
or exhaustion or exercised in monotonous toil, with- 
out the relief which comes from change of occupa- 
tion, or the stimulus of delight in the object toiled 
for, Capacity for feeling, and action unexercised or 
exercised under wrong conditions these things are 
responsible for much of the disharmony of our 
artificial city life; these things are incompatible with 
perfect health. 

There are only two ways of righting disharmony 
in every department of Life. Either the environ- 
mental conditions must be improved to allow of 
the exercise of the larger faculties, or the capaci- 
ties must be reduced to the level of the narrower 

It will not be enough even in the coming time 
that there will be no waste of infant life, the result 
of lack of knowledge or lack of care, or that, by 
the control of accidental, and the removal of pre- 
ventable causes of disease, the life of the adult 
citizen will be prolonged to the full span of human 
vital capacity. The citizens of the Great State will 
ask for more than this. They will claim to be de- 
livered from the strain on body and soul which 



comes from disharmony between capacity and the 
conditions under which capacity is exercised, as 
well as from the drain on vital energy which now 
results from suffering and disease. After the satis- 
faction of the immediate needs of existence they will 
look for a reserve of energy which may be spent in 
enlarging the horizon of life, and in this clearer 
atmosphere they will taste once more the Joy of 
Living. It is in this way that the problem of 
Health in the widest sense is linked up with the 
problem of Education, on the one hand, and the 
possibilities of social, economic, and industrial re- 
form, on the other. 

Among Health-promoting factors two of the most 
important, at any rate under the depressing condi- 
tions of our modern industrial life, are "Healthy 
Recreation" and "Change of Occupation." Other 
writers will deal with these aspects of life under 
the better conditions of the Great State, but when 
that freer interchange which we all hope for has 
been brought about between the life of the country 
and the life of the city, when the fresh air and the 
freedom and the rest of the country can be obtained 
by the town dweller, and the means of easy com- 
munication and opportunities for social intercourse 
reach to the country, then some of the lifelessness 
that results from exhaustion and monotony will be 
done away with. 

We now realise that the biological foundations 
are the only firm foundations on which we can build 


up Health or resist Disease, and in the coming time 
we shall also learn that Innate Capacity, the con- 
ditions under which it is exercised, and the acquire- 
ments that it makes, must also provide the funda- 
mental principles by which the education of the 
child, the life and labour of the adult citizen, and the 
duties of the State must be guided and controlled. 



WE have now formed some conception of what 
Communal and Individual Health in its widest and 
best sense will mean under the improved social con- 
ditions of the Great State, and we must pass on to 
consider some of the ways in which this fuller Life 
may be realised. 

In the first place, a true sense of the relative 
importance of the objects to be aimed at is very 
necessary if we are to avoid the error of confusing 
mediate with ultimate ends. For while the final 
aim must be the Health, the fuller life of the com- 
munity as a whole, the efficiency and the welfare of 
the profession of Healing are of fundamental impor- 
tance as a necessary step towards the realisation of 
the goal. 

One thing, at any rate, is clear : if Health means 
Harmonious Adjustment to environmental condi- 
tions, then every one whose business it is to bring 

1 60 


about health must be an adapter and a harmoniser. 
The Profession of Healing must concern itself with 
all efforts which tend to bring about harmonious 
adjustment between the citizens and their environ- 
ment. It must be occupied, not only with the re- 
moval of insanitary surroundings and the promotion 
of individual resistance to infection, but it must also 
strive to develop a normal mental and bodily re- 
sponse on the part of the citizens to all kinds of 
healthy stimuli. 

Before we can indicate the lines along which 
future progress in this direction may be looked for 
we must first pass in brief review one or two aspects 
of the relationship which at present exists between 
the Medical Profession and the Public. To begin 
with, the service of Health is vital to Society. It 
is indeed so vital that it has become one of the 
fundamental concerns of the State that medical and 
surgical treatment should be available for all, that 
the healthy life and the means of attaining it, as 
far as such means are attainable, should be within 
the reach of every member of the community, poor 
as well as rich. 

How do we stand to-day in regard to this matter? 
The treatment of disease is now carried on in two 
ways: by the Institutional method and the Home- 
treatment method. Of these two the Institutional 
is by far the most efficient and the most valuable 
from the point of view of the cure of disease; but 
under present conditions it is quite inadequate to 



meet the needs of the great mass of the working- 
class population, at any rate in this country in which 
the General Hospitals are supported by voluntary 
contributions, and are not subsidised by the Mu- 
nicipalities or the State. It is calculated that 
Hospital accommodation is only available for from 
twenty to fifty per cent, of the population it ought 
to benefit. It touches, in fact, only a portion of the 
mass of disease amongst the poor. 

When we turn to the treatment of disease in 
working-class homes, we find a still more unsatisfac- 
tory condition of things. A great part of the con- 
tract medical and surgical practice of Great Britain 
at any rate that part of it which is concerned with 
the Home visiting and the treatment of working 
people in private surgeries, hospital out-patient de- 
partments, and out-patient clinics under the Club 
system is suffering from certain serious inherent 
defects which tend to bring about inefficiency of 
treatment and a false mental attitude on the part 
of the patients and the medical attendant towards 
the whole problem of disease. In the first place, 
owing to unrestricted competition among medical 
men themselves, this contract practice is inad- 
equately remunerated. This means that a great 
number of sufferers from real or imaginary diseases 
must pass through the medical attendant's hands 
if he is to make a living, and this means hurried 
observation, imperfect diagnosis, and inadequate 
treatment in many cases. Further, it brings about 



a tendency to make up for lack of thoroughness in 
investigation by a routine system of drug -pre- 
scribing, with the result that a false sense of satis- 
faction is thereby engendered in the minds of 
patients who are often ignorant of the real relation- 
ship between the administration of drugs and the 
curing and prevention of disease. An extravagant 
belief in the necessity for drugs in the treatment of 
disease has sprung up in the mind of the Public, and 
an easy acquiescence in this line of least resistance 
in the minds of some medical men which is de- 
moralising to the Profession. 

It thus happens, through the fault of a system 
rather than through the fault of the individual, that 
the true function of the "Healer" is obscured and 
misunderstood, and in many cases a futile attempt 
to treat symptoms or to remove results has over- 
shadowed the more lengthy and more difficult but 
more efficient method of dealing with the causes of 
disease. The real remedy for this unsatisfactory 
state of things is a deeper appreciation of the true 
meaning of "Health," on the one hand, and a clearer 
recognition of the real function of the "Healer," on 
the other. If some of the energy which is now being 
expended by medical men in the routine visiting of 
long lists of contract and club patients, and in the 
prescribing and dispensing of drugs for the relief 
of symptoms, could be directed to the prevention 
of the beginnings of disease in people's homes, and to 
the provision of efficient institutional treatment for 



those persons whose recovery would be materially 
aided by removal to better surroundings, then not 
only would the health of the people be more effi- 
ciently safeguarded, but the lot of the doctor would 
be a more useful, a more self-respecting, and therefore 
a more happy one. But this means two things: it 
means a great extension of the Institutional system, 
and it means a reorganisation of the system of 
Contract and Club Practice, through which the poor 
now obtain medical assistance. 

With regard to the first it is hopeless to look for 
any great extension of hospital accommodation on 
the lines of voluntary support. Hospital adminis- 
tration has in this country now passed through the 
experimental and initiatory stage, during which it 
is wiser to leave it to the stimulus of individual 
effort and voluntary support. It has become an 
absolute necessity of our social and industrial life. 
General Hospital administration now requires the 
integrating influence of State control to bring it 
into co-ordination with Poor Law Infirmaries, In- 
fectious Hospitals, and with other voluntary and 
municipal health agencies. Moreover, there are 
many indications that it is in this direction that 
the problem of Hospital administration will eventu- 
ally be solved. 

Things are also moving in the same direction in 
the domiciliary side of medical practice. Owing to 
unrestricted competition among its own members, 
the profession of Medicine is suffering from lack of 



co-ordination of effort, waste of energy, and want of 
control ; and owing to the same cause it is also suffer- 
ing from inadequate remuneration and, as a further 
consequence, from a lack of appreciation on the part 
of the Public of the real value of its services and the 
true position it ought to occupy in the State. 

The uncertainty and the obscurity which hung 
around the methods of the "Healer" in the past 
still tend to obstruct his vision and prejudice his 
authority, now that he is called upon to play the 
part of health adviser to the community. Society 
forgets that the Profession of Healing has long ago 
discarded the old garments of magic and superstition, 
which clothed it in infancy, and that it has almost 
succeeded in shaking off the fetters of tradition and 
dogma which still encumber its old companions 
Theology and Law, and that it is both ready and 
willing to enter on the duties of mature age and 
wider experience. On the other hand, the com- 
munity is also suffering from the imperfections of 
the present system, but in a different way. It 
suffers from the inefficiency of service which comes 
from uncontrolled contract practice, and from the 
demoralisation which follows a too ready acquies- 
cence in a symptomatic as opposed to a preventive 
and radical treatment of disease. The eventual 
remedy for both difficulties can only be a National 
Health Service in which the conditions of service 
include adequate remuneration and a reserve of 
time, money, opportunity, and legislative freedom 



for progressive development, for the acquirement of 
new knowledge, and for the application of new and 
improved methods in the treatment of disease. 

The Science and Art of Healing and those who 
practise it must be protected against unnecessary 
interference by officialdom, against hampering and 
restrictive legislation prompted by a sentimental or 
ill-informed public opinion; and this must be se- 
cured by an efficient representation of medical 
opinion and medical interests on Municipal and 
State councils. 

In the same way the interests of the community 
must also be safeguarded against undue regimenta- 
tion in matters of health. False assumption of au- 
thority in administrative matters on the part of 
the Profession must be prevented by Free Trade in 
the National Health Service, by free choice of doctor 
on the part of the individual citizen or social groups, 
and by freedom on the part of the public to decline 
any special or improved form of treatment, subject 
always to the important condition that such refusal 
does not endanger public safety or run counter to 
the interests of the community. 

Now, this scheme of a national health service 
must be conceived on a well-thought-out plan. It 
must embrace the Health interests of the individual 
citizen, on the one hand, and social, municipal, and 
State interests, on the other. Here, as in all matters 
of State enterprise and Municipal trading, there are 
certain things which are best left to individual effort 

1 66 


and voluntary support, and there are others which 
are better done by social co-operation. To the 
former must be relegated the medical attendance, 
institutional and domiciliary, of all those more 
fortunately circumstanced citizens who desire and 
are in a position to pay for medical services other 
than, or over and above those provided by the 
State. For the remainder of the population which 
embraces the very poor and the small salary-earning 
and small wage-earning class a National Health Ser- 
vice should in this country develop along the follow- 
ing lines : 

Co-ordination must be brought about among exist- 
ing institutions for the treatment of disease. The 
voluntary General Hospitals, Convalescent Homes, 
and Sanatoria must be linked up with the rate and 
State - supported institutions, the Municipal In- 
fectious Hospitals, the Municipal and County Asy- 
lums, the Municipal Sanatoria, the School Clinics, 
the Poor Law Infirmaries, and the Prisons Medical 
Service. The present honorary Staffs of the General 
Hospitals would be paid salaries, they would be 
brought into relationship with medical officers of 
health, with the Staffs of Infectious Hospitals, of 
Asylums, of Sanatoria, and of School Clinics, with 
Poor Law Officers working in Poor Law Infirmaries, 
and with Prison doctors. The whole of this great 
institutional system, with its vast material and wide 
opportunities for the study of disease, would be- 
come available for the purposes of medical educa- 



tion, not only so, but a far larger number of already 
qualified and practising medical men would be thus 
enabled to keep in touch with new knowledge and 
new methods, for it is especially true in a growing 
science like medicine that for any seeker after 
knowledge to be satisfied with past experience or 
to attempt to live on the record of past attainments 
is woefully to restrict usefulness, even if it does not 
hinder success. And with this Institutional part 
of the National Health Service must be linked up a 
corresponding Nursing Service. 

The other or the domiciliary side of the Health 
Service, the visiting of the citizens in their own 
homes, would be carried out by District and Divi- 
sional Medical Officers. They would treat such 
cases as could be well treated at home, and such as 
were too ill for removal, or not sufficiently ill to re- 
quire institutional treatment, and they would be 
assisted in their work by an organised District 
Nursing Service. 

One very important part of the duty of these 
Medical Officers would be the periodic visiting of 
all households and the reporting on the health 
and life conditions of the householder and his de- 
pendants. This need be neither inquisitorial nor 
offensive, if there is a proper system of local controls 
over the appointments of the medical men concerned. 
There need be no more inconvenience in the visit 
of the Medical Officer than in the visit of any other 
Municipal official. In this way the early beginnings 



of disease would be often detected and the preven- 
tion of disease would become a reality, for the health 
authorities would be provided with accurate statistics 
and reliable information about disease. In this way, 
too, the work of the Medical Practitioner would be 
raised in dignity and in tone. He would be one 
among many officers occupied in a great national 
inquiry into the causes of, as well as the best way 
of treating disease; he would feel that he was being 
paid for work of value to the community, as well as 
to the individual. 

What are the objections which can be brought 
forward against such a scheme? 

Doubtless those who dread the introduction of 
so-called socialistic methods into any new depart- 
ments of human life will again raise the objection 
which was formerly raised against the introduction 
of State Education. So-called free doctoring is to 
such persons on a level with so-called free education : 
both are equally vicious. But, in both cases, such 
objectors overlook the fact that in reality neither 
the benefits of a National Health Service nor the 
benefits of a State-provided Education are really 
free ; as a matter of fact, that service cannot be truly 
described as free in which both the expenditure and 
the effort which are necessary to provide it are shared 
by all directly or indirectly. It is only free in the 
sense that it is available for all, just as it is provided 
by all. 

Indeed, a question of even greater importance 


to-day is not so much that of the free provision of 
medical attendance as of the desirability of the 
compulsory adoption of the means of attaining 
health by all citizens. If, like the attainment of 
knowledge, the attainment of Health is so vital to 
national welfare that the State makes it compul- 
sory, then, like the service of knowledge, the service 
of Health must be free, too. If the State has learned 
to recognise that the uneducated citizen is a source 
of national inefficiency, surely the State must also 
realise that the unhealthy and the diseased citizen 
is a source of national danger. We are only begin- 
ning to realise that it is just as wrong to be ill, if 
the illness be preventable, as it is wrong to be igno- 
rant if the ignorance can be dispelled. It is not 
enough that a small proportion of the members 
of any community should be robustly healthy or 
highly trained; the whole body of citizens must be 
raised up to a certain minimum level of mental and 
bodily efficiency: above this average minimum of 
Health and Sanity there will always remain plenty 
of room for further development. Moreover, and 
most important of all, the provision by the State of 
the means of attaining Health, if it be also accom- 
panied by care in seeing that these means are adopted, 
is, like State education, free from the disadvantage 
of producing concomitant demoralisation and relax- 
ation of individual effort ; for both the attainment of 
Health and the attainment of Knowledge recognise 
the biological law of Response, they both presuppose 



some effort on the part of the citizen benefited, while 
the increased efficiency of body and of mind which 
result lead in their turn to increased capacity for 
further effort. 

It is those well-meant but misguided social efforts 
to ameliorate the conditions of life among the poor 
and the sick which do not include the recognition 
of the fundamental necessity for some responsive 
effort on the part of the persons benefited, that 
cause demoralisation of character. The provision of 
healthier surroundings and opportunities for the ex- 
ercise of higher capacities does not fall within this 
category. Let no one suppose that the provision 
of a healthier and better environment will bring 
about a less worthy type of citizen. 

But there will also be objections on the part of 
Medical Men. One of the difficulties in the way of 
reconciling the Medical Profession to the idea of a 
National Health Service is the suspicion and dis- 
like with which individual medical men regard all 
forms of contract service and payment per capita, 
or by salary for whole or part time service. This 
suspicion and dislike arises largely from past ex- 
perience of this kind of service at the hands of the 
Friendly Societies and Clubs under the old regime 
of unrestricted competition. When we inquire into 
the evolution of these different methods of remunera- 
tion we find that payment by individual patients for 
individual services rendered is as a rule found in less 
progressive communities than payment per capita 



or by salary for whole-time service. In industrial 
life, piece-work and time-work correspond more or 
less accurately to payment for services rendered and 
payment by salary in professional life. Now, it is 
a significant fact that while in different trades some 
trade-unions recognise piece-work and some time- 
work, yet no trade-unions recognise piece-work un- 
less it is compatible with collective bargaining. In 
fact, both employers and employed adopt either 
method according as it leads to advantageous bar- 
gaining. Of the two methods of remuneration for 
professional services, payment for whole-time ser- 
vice is far more consistent with collective bargain- 
ing than payment by individual patients for services 
rendered, while payment per capita stands in an 
intermediate position as a form of bargain, between 
the State Agreement, on the one hand, and the Agree- 
ment between the doctor and his individual patients, 
on the other. In fact, State or Municipal salary for 
whole-time service (and payment per capita by 
Friendly Societies in a less degree) tends to approxi- 
mate the old basis of agreement between doctor and 
patient to the modern basis of agreement which 
obtains between employer and employed in indus- 
trial life. It substitutes the newer relationship of 
one employer (the State) to many employed, for 
the older relationship of many employers to one em- 
ployed, as in the agreement between the private 
doctor and his individual patients, and by so doing 
if favours the possibility of collective bargaining on 



the part of the employed; and on this ground it 
ought to receive favourable consideration by the 
Profession, or at any rate that portion of the Pro- 
fession which realises that its relationships with the 
public in the future will be more and more regulated, 
as far as remuneration for services is concerned, by 
trade-union methods of the better kind. 

For we know that the average employer constant- 
ly seeks to get more work for the same payment, 
while the average employee desires to get more pay 
for the same amount of work; and both alike favour 
time or piece work according as either method 
seems best calculated to bring about this result. 
Hence it comes about that it is impossible to pre- 
vent the degradation of the standard of Professional 
Life under unrestricted competition, just as it is 
impossible to prevent it in competitive industrial oc- 
cupations, unless the terms and conditions of service 
allow of some form of collective bargaining between 
the individuals or the groups concerned. Hence the 
importance of securing some method of remuneration 
which allows of collective bargaining. 

Owing to a deficient social conscience in many 
citizens, both employers and employed, and in spite 
of education and moral training, conduct continues 
to be directed by considerations of supposed self- 
interest rather than by considerations of social 
welfare. It is possible that in a regenerated State, 
public-spirited conduct, inspired by worthy motives, 
will allow of a return to the old individual relation- 

12 173 


ships in matters of remuneration for service ren- 
dered, and that a fair reward for whole-hearted ser- 
vice will not need to be secured by any form of col- 
lective bargaining; but that brighter day has not 
yet dawned, and we are now concerned with the 
means by which the end may be attained rather than 
with the end itself. 

The ultimate test of the fitness of any institution 
or industrial enterprise or profession for munici- 
palisation or nationalisation must be Utility. It 
must be the relative value to Society of such in- 
stitutional enterprise or professional service under 
municipal or State as against individual control, and 
this will to a certain extent depend on the degree 
of integration and co-ordination, that is on the 
state of development of the enterprise or service 
in question, and on the nature of the service which 
it can render to Society. Some enterprises are more 
organised than others, some service's are more vital 
than others to the welfare of Society. As a matter 
of fact, those branches of the medical profession 
which are concerned with Municipal and institutional 
administration, with preventive medicine and public 
health, have already reached a certain level of or- 
ganisation. It is the private practice and the 
domiciliary side of professional service that need 
bringing up to the same level. 

The enormous importance of the problem makes it 
a matter of vital concern that the ingoing informa- 
tion and the outgoing energy of a National Health 


Service should be co-ordinated in one central brain 
in one department under the control of a Minister 
of Health, and this Minister must combine in him- 
self, or be able to obtain at first-hand, medical 
knowledge and a knowledge of biological Sociol- 
ogy; the Health Department will be the most 
fundamental of all the departments of State. It 
will be called upon to advise other departments 
concerning the biological principles upon which 
education and labour must be founded, upon which 
the activities of the soldier, sailor, and other public 
servants must be guided; and upon which the con- 
trol and reformation of the mentally deficient, the 
pauper, and the criminal must be carried out. 

Having attempted to answer various objections 
that may be raised against it, having discussed the 
question of a National Health Service from the 
point of view of the State, we must now consider 
the effect of nationalisation on the Medical Pro- 
fession itself. As soon as we rise above the level 
of the primitive society, with its impelling desires 
to satisfy only the primary needs of existence, we 
come under the control of other motives and meet 
with other springs of conduct. The desire for the 
approbation of fellow-citizens, the wish to stand 
well with society these are the motives which direct 
human conduct and sway the actions of civilised 
mankind on a large scale in the pursuit of worthy and 
unworthy ends. It is this which leads to the amass- 
ing of wealth, the acquirement of power, and it is 


this which, if conceived in a selfish spirit or moulded 
by a debased standard of social approbation, brings 
about the vicious circle in which unworthy conduct 
in the influential citizen vitiates public opinion; 
and debased public opinion approves of the un- 
un worthy conduct. Everything turns on the aver- 
age level of public spirit and the standard of public 
duty in every community. The nationalisation 
of the Health Service, like that of every other ser- 
vice, is undesirable and unsafe until a certain stand- 
ard of social and ethical development has been 
reached by the community. Indeed, it is only pos- 
sible where a civic consciousness is present among 
both those who render the service and those who 
benefit by it. 

We believe that in Great Britain, at any rate, 
such a stage of civic evolution has already been 

But there are other and important reasons why the 
relationship between the Profession of Healing and 
the community should be a State relationship rather 
than a relationship between individual citizens. So 
long as medical treatment is concerned with the 
protection of the individual citizen against outside 
infection, against those injurious environmental 
factors which prejudice personal health, it does not 
run counter to individual inclinations, and so long 
even as medical advice concerns itself with the pres- 
ent it does not evoke any great opposition. The 
difficulty arises when we begin to act in the interests 



of future generations. Now there are sources of 
disease outside the control of individual doctors, out- 
side the authority of Medical Officers of Health and 
Sanitary Authorities. As we have already seen in 
Part I of this essay there are congenital deficiencies, 
errors of development which are not the result of 
disease organisms or of insanitary surroundings. It 
is in regard to these mental and bodily disabilities 
which arise from the faulty union of deficient natural 
tendencies that the profession of Healing, when 
dealing with the problem of race culture, will be 
increasingly called upon to decide; and, if it is to 
speak with authority in cases where duty to the 
next generation does not always coincide with the 
desires of the individual citizen, then it becomes 
necessary that the skilled adviser shall be free from 
ignorant opposition and supported by the general 
intelligence of the community. This can only be 
secured by placing the relationship between adviser 
and citizen on the secure basis of a State-controlled 
and State-recognised service in a State which is the 
expression of a highly developed collective mind. 

It is only from such a standpoint, too, that the 
profession of Health can speak with power in matters 
of immorality and intemperance in those regions of 
social and individual misadjustment in which the 
disharmony is the direct or indirect result of a de- 
parture from a temperate or moral mode of life. 

Moreover, the conspiracy of silence which now en- 
velops the whole subject of sex responsibilities and 



sex morality must be cleared away, and it will be the 
duty of the Health adviser to co-operate with the 
educationist in dispelling ignorance about normal sex 
functions, and in pointing out the harmful results of 
immoral conduct in ruined health and in diminished 
efficiency. The work of the State doctor will be 
preventive rather than curative, national as well as 
individual, and educational in a high degree. He it 
is who will act as guide and counsellor in the coming 
transition period in the history of the human race, 
which is now approaching much more quickly than 
many suppose. For mankind is passing out of the 
control of its old schoolmaster, Natural Selection, and 
is entering on the wider career of adult life, when the 
old evolutionary landmarks will be lost sight of, 
when preadaptation and instinctive response will be 
largely supplemented by capacity to profit by ex- 
perience, and when the power of controlling his en- 
vironment will enable man to take a large share in 
the shaping of Human destiny. Those who are 
called upon to advise the race in these great issues 
must be public-spirited citizens above all suspicion 
of self-seeking. Such public spirit as we need de- 
mands public service and public recognition; it will 
flourish in an atmosphere of penetrating criticism 
efficiently performed, it will languish under condi- 
tions both of unrestricted competition and of re- 
stricted activity. It perishes in a life of unlimited 
self-assertion and uncontrolled individualism. 
The uncertainty and the obscurity which have in 



the past hung about the methods of the Healer in 
the treatment of disease in the individual citizen 
still cling to his reputation and prejudice his author- 
ity, now that he is called upon to act as the adjuster 
between the social organism and its environment. 
But this will rapidly disappear with wider knowl- 
edge and increasing experience on his part, and with 
a broad sustaining collective intelligence and criti- 
cism behind and penetrating his specialised authority. 
Of this much we may be quite certain, that it is only 
as the Healing Profession responds to the call which 
will be made upon it by Society for instruction and 
guidance in the important field of race culture, only 
as it concerns itself with the causes and the preven- 
tion of disease in childhood, in prenatal and germinal 
life, only as it rises to the full measure of its respon- 
sibilities to the Race and to future generations only 
as it does these things can it claim to save society 
from internal decay, as it now claims to protect it 
from those external factors which produce disease. 
When adequately remunerated and thoroughly 
efficient medical treatment and advice are secured 
to every citizen, when the unessentials have been 
cast aside and the energy now expended in the 
treatment of symptoms and on attempts to neu- 
tralise the effects of disease is directed to the detec- 
tion and the removal of its cause, when Society 
understands that amateur attempts to apply un- 
trained methods in dealing with disease are bound 
to fail, when the State recognises the wisdom of 



following the well-considered advice, as well as con- 
sulting the mature opinion of skilled advisers in 
matters relating to the health of this and the next 
generation, when the Profession of Healing itself 
recognises that it exists for the purpose of bringing 
Society into more harmonious adaptation to its 
environment and that its only legitimate demands 
must be for freedom, encouragement, sympathetic 
understanding, and opportunity to carry on its work 
of healing under such conditions of service as will 
lead to greater efficiency on the part of its own 
members, and greater benefits to the community 
which it serves, then, and not till then, will the 
Science and practice of Medicine be worthy of 
the Great State; and then, and not till then, will 
the Great State fully recognise the usefulness and the 
worth of its Health Service. 





Of Law no less can be said than that her seat is the bosom 
of God, her voice the harmony of the world. Hooker. 

THIS eloquent sentence is scarcely likely to find 
an echo in modern sentiment. In our world of 
to-day law has associations of terror for the poor, 
of financial jeopardy for the rich, of richly confused 
legislation for the lawyer. Law makes little or no 
appeal either to the collective intelligence or to the 
collective affections of the community. The law, 
in popular estimation, is a "hass." In the estima- 
tion of a growing minority it is (as administered by 
modern bureaucracy) simply a brutal bully, whose 
intervention must be avoided at any cost, or an 
overbearing sharper extremely difficult to evade. 
There is still, perhaps, for many minds a certain 
mystical glamour about it. The ordinary man who 
might make an inte lectual effort to understand the 
workings of his household cisterns or sanitary ar- 
rangements would as often as not flinch from in- 
vestigating all the possible complications of his own 
will. To some extent this is inevitable. In a high- 
ly civilised community legal machinery cannot be 



simpler than any other machinery, though, of course, 
it should not be more complicated than other machin- 
ery, if such a state of things can be avoided. Again 
there is an inevitable tendency to make judges the 
mouthpieces of our virtuous indignation. All vul- 
gar people love to hear a good scolding properly 
applied. Many men who resent a peremptory 
summons, reeking of pains and penalties, to serve 
on a jury, feel that society is not altogether rotten 
when they read: 

"The Judge then assumed the black cap and addressed the 
prisoner as follows: 'John Jones, you have been convicted of 
a dastardly murder by an impartial jury of your countrymen, 
and the sentence of the Court is that you be taken from this 
Court . . . and hanged by the neck till you be dead, and God 
have mercy on your soul.'" 

This gratifies all the lingering nursery morality 
in the common man, and it is none the less pleasing 
to him that the Judge is attired in a costume ex- 
clusively associated with the pronouncement of 
doom, and is, therefore, invested with a kind of 
halo, or, as more irreverent persons might say, a 
kind of tabooing power. The Judge would not be 
felt to be "voicing" the community if, wearing or- 
dinary morning dress, he said, merely: 

"Mr. Jones, the legal consequence of the foreman's re- 
marks is that, unless you succeed in persuading the Court of 
Appeal to quash the conviction or unless you obtain a reprieve 
from the Home Secretary, you will be executed as the law directs. 
I do not wish to intrude into the question of your religious 



opinions, but, if you desire it, the chaplain shall wait upon 
you, your solicitor and your intimate friends are at your ser- 
vice, and you shall have every opportunity of settling your 
affairs in a manner as satisfactory as this unfortunate occasion 

No doubt, however, the judges and lawyers of the 
Great State will feel it less incumbent on them to 
reproduce the violence and fierceness of the past 
than they do now. The modern parent can bring 
up children without incessantly flourishing a big 
stick, and it is time the law came up a little nearer 
to the present level of civilisation. . . . 

In this connection it is instructive to remember 
the politeness of the Athenians. Readers of Plato's 
Ph&do will remember the civility of the executioner 
to Socrates when he presented the hemlock and 
lucidly explained how it would work This is quite 
an advance on pinioning and blindfolding the vic- 
tim or preventing him forcibly from committing 
suicide. On the one hand one observes barbaric 
insult and a brutish vindictiveness, on the other 
a dignified appeal to human dignity and citizenship 
even in a criminal condemned. Still more startling 
to modern notions is Socrates's expression of attach- 
ment to the laws of Athens when Crito urges him 
to escape. To Socrates the laws appear almost as 
friendly deities who have watched over him from 
the cradle, and whom he is bound by the ob- 
ligation of past benefits not to defy. Mr. Zim- 
mern explains this attitude very well in the mas- 



terful chapter on "Law" in his Greek Common- 
wealth. 1 

"We have our Constitution written or unwritten and the 
ever-changing body of our Statute Law. But they are remote 
from our daily life. We do not ourselves enforce them or 
even know them. . . . Between us and the enforcement of law 
stand the policeman and the magistrate: between us and the 
making of law stand Parliaments and the government. But 
in Athens there was no such thing as the 'government' as 
distinct from the people." 

There, perhaps, Mr. Zimmern puts his hand upon 
the essential difference in spirit between that an- 
cient civilisation and our present confusion. Our 
modern States and, so far as the law goes, this is 
true even of the American republic derive from 
bullying monarchs, bullying dukes and earls and 
barons who bullied their tenants and so down; and 
we have an enormous traditional incubus of vile 
aggressions to shake off before the Great State will 
be able to emulate the fine nobility of those ancient 
cities. It must, moreover, be noted that a mere 
replacement of feudalism by a sham democratic 
bureaucracy is not likely to give us any great in- 
crease of sweetness and light in our courts or else- 
where. The spirit of bureaucracy is to distinguish 
between the official and the citizen, and it is typical 
of this that the London trams are labelled "L. C. C.," 
and that the notices in the public parks are signed 
"By Order L. C. C." showing that these things are 

1 The Greek Commonwealth, p. 125. (Clarendon Press, 1911.) 

1 86 


not the property of the people of London, but of a 
select and fortunate body of adventurers in control. 
This is quite alien from the magnificent inscription 
of "S. P. Q. R." of the Roman banner. 

But in the Great State the tram and the post 
notices will say, and not only say but mean, "This 
belongs to the Londoners," and the mail-cart or 
railway signal will say, "This mail-cart or rail- 
way signal belongs to the Englishmen"; so, when 
the prisoner stands in front of the judge, that 
judge will not only be, but also appear, a reason- 
able civil gentleman instead of a Minos in minia- 

Such a state of things as Mr. Zimmern describes, 
of course, necessitated a rotation of citizens in dif- 
ferent offices; there were no "officials" because 
every one had office in turn; the ordinary Athenian 
citizen was personally familiar with both judicial 
and legislative work. Such a participation is abso- 
lutely necessary for a civilised relation between the 
law and the ordinary man. The requisite leisure 
of the Athenian citizen, no doubt, reposed on "a 
foundation of slave labour; in the Great State 
it will rest on a foundation of power-increasing ma- 
chinery. The essential point is for every citizen 
to regard justice and legislation as part of his own 
work, and the whole apparatus of the State as his 
possession, instead of as alien things imposed on 
him by such persons as cabinet ministers and judges. 
Such an achievement can only spring from a new 



harmony between law and custom, order and free- 
dom, and from a local connection in whatever re- 
mains localised. I do not mean that such localisa- 
tions need necessarily be those of an agricultural 
community or the Normal Social Life. I am speak- 
ing of local units of thought and administration. 
The unit may be that of a township or county, but 
clearly much law arising out of local matters must 
be administered throughout a number of distributed 
circles, and cannot be too rigidly centralised. Now, 
the citizenship of the ancient civilised state was 
destroyed just in so far as the feudal military system 
crushed out civic life, and the feudal or territorial 
units of justice were in turn crushed out by the 
centralisation of justice as the bigger States of 
Europe came to birth in the fifteenth and sixteenth 
centuries. Modern citizenship was scarcely likely 
to flourish in what Mr. Wells calls the "jerry-built 
nationalities" of the last fifty years, or, even where 
the nationality already existed, in the welter of 
the industrial revolution. 

The law of the Great State should, therefore, not 
be too highly centralised, and should leave rooms 
under its catholic universality for local, and not 
merely local, but a certain kind of specialised Justice. 
Much admirable work is done by Commercial Court 
judges and by magistrates paid and unpaid. By 
"specialised Justice" I mean the kind of work that 
is done by the Commercial Court or, on a smaller 
scale, by the Incorporated Law Society's Discipline 



Committee or any Court Martial. I believe that 
the Great State will develop wide extensions of 
specialised justice. Subject to the right of appeal, 
better justice can generally be obtained from men 
who are well acquainted with the subject-matter 
before them. Juries often make hideous blunders 
in civil actions concerning complicated business 
affairs of which they know nothing. "Judicial 
ignorance" has become a proverbial phrase. But, 
were the defeated litigant to appeal from an expert 
Court of first instance, the subject-matter would 
have been already well cooked and served up for 
the purely legal mind. 

There is, in all litigation, a curious little conflict 
between reality and the apparatus that has to deal 
with it. There is a struggle between the issue and 
the process. What the lawyer wants is the simpli- 
fication of facts; what the layman wants is the 
simplification of law. The layman often has a touch- 
ing belief in the utility of codes because he is unaware 
that foreign codes are interpreted largely in the 
light of past litigation about them. A code cannot 
altogether do away with the difficulty of forcing 
facts into the strait- waistcoat of legal definition. 
What can be done, however, is to increase statutes 
like the Partnership Act, 1890, which summarise and 
boil down a multitude of decided cases. If our 
jurisprudence is to justify the maxim "Ignorantia 
legis neminem excusat," then it must be thoroughly 
proof against Bentham's amplification, "Ignorance 

13 189 


of the law excuses no one except the lawyer." If it 
is to adopt the old equity motto "No wrong without 
a remedy," then it must be so framed and so made 
acceptable to the general understanding that no 
wronged citizen can fail to be conscious that he has 
at least some sort of remedy. It should not be 
impossible so to simplify the law in its elementary 
stages that the necessarily abstruse points are only 
those which have to be decided in the Courts of 

Decisions of a court of first instance are accepted 
as final more often from the litigant's disinclination 
to gamble than from his thinking that the decision 
is irrefutable in itself. Such a simplification as I 
have suggested could be achieved by a series of 
statutes which (a) boil down and clarify the case 
law of each preceding twenty years and (b) boil down 
and clarify the crude, or perhaps experimental, 
legislation on any given subject during the same 
period, much as excellent soup may be made out 
of bones. In some such fashion the lawyer would 
find his facts more readily pigeonholed in advance, 
and the layman would find his law less difficult to 
assimilate. I do not see why there should not be 
some special department of the public service of 
the Great State engaged continually in this process 
of stewing a sort of legal stockpot for legislative 

If one development is more certain than another 
in the future, it is the unification of international 



law on matters concerning marriage, divorce, suc- 
cession to property, the renvoi, etc. The tests of 
nationality and residence are bound to supersede 
the vague and inadequate test of domicile to which 
the United Kingdom and many English-speaking 
communities so obstinately cling. A doctrine 
which grew up in the Dark Ages, when there was no 
nationality and but little travelling as we know it 
now, cannot but create the boundless confusion and 
uncertainty that the doctrine of domicile does at 
present create in English-speaking civilisation. Even 
if the Great State be not itself international, the 
development of an international intelligence must 
surely end those ridiculous anomalies which perplex 
the layman and enrich the lawyer of to-day. 

Beyond these issues I find little to say in the way of 
generalisation about the law of the Great State. 
I am not a Socialist, though I have to admit, with 
all sane men, the manifest necessity of an increasing 
public control of, and property in, the main social 
services. Clearly the laws of possession must follow 
the changing ideas of the nature of what is, so to 
speak, property-able. With the decline of the 
bureaucratic movement, and subject to the fore- 
going proviso, it is not unreasonable to expect a 
rapid and successful assimilation of the law of real 
property to the law of personal property instead 
of its departmental complication by officials. More- 
over, the mockery of justice due to the publicity of 
legal proceedings which are worse than useless, except 



under conditions of more or less limited privacy, 
will presumably cease to exist. I allude more par- 
ticularly to cases of blackmail, of divorce, or of 
libel and slander. I need not enlarge on the effects 
of publicity regarding blackmail or divorce, but 
I may add that the publicity of libel and slander 
proceedings often denies relief to all but that par- 
ticular class of litigants who seek pecuniary damages 
rather than the rehabilitation of character. But 
this is a mere obvious step in civilisation that will 
be reached long before the Great State can be more 
than dawning. 

It is difficult to anticipate any particular develop- 
ments of the law governing the status of women, 
either as dependent or independent of men, when 
the whole institution of monogamy, so-called, that 
now exists may be fundamentally altered; and the 
difficulty is even more formidable in regard to chil- 
dren and succession to property. Such matters I 
will leave to my colleagues with a certain relief. 

As to criminals, it is to be hoped that the criminal 
law of the Great State will be of as little immediate 
consequence to the citizen of the Great State as 
it is to the well-to-do citizen of to-day. As Hobbes 
well puts it: 

"Every Sovereign ought to cause Justice to be taught, which 
(consisting in taking from no man what is his) is as much as 
to say, to cause men to be taught not to deprive their neighbours, 
by violence or fraud, of anything which by the sovereign au- 
thority is theirs." 



To this most men are ready enough to subscribe. 
Our criminal law, a peculiar blend of barbaric violence, 
medieval prejudices, and modern fallacies, affects 
only the more or less submerged portion of the com- 
munity, whose semi-starvation not only of material 
comforts, but also of all the higher pleasures that 
make life worth living, will presumably not continue 
in the Great State. Where a citizen has every- 
thing to lose by violence to wit, his reputation, his 
earning power, his liberty where can the inducement 
to violence exist? By robbery he actually risks the 
loss of what he can honestly earn, and he is not 
likely to rob unless he is a collector from whom no 
man is safe or actuated by some mania for the 
acquisition of property on a large scale. And as 
for murder and such like offences, they are nowa- 
days far more often the results of the economic 
pressure under which we live than of any innate 
evil in men. It is merely silly to kill a wife or con- 
cubine when there are means to divorce the one or 
to make decent provision for the other. The want 
of these things manufactures fifty per cent, of our 
murderers. It is equally absurd to kill an illegiti- 
mate child if its birth does not pillory the mother 
so that her earning power is reduced exactly in 
proportion to her necessity for more. There again 
is a class of offence for which the Great State will 
leave no inducement. Again, there is a large cate- 
gory of crimes demanding medical rather than 
legal treatment. 



In the end I conceive that the Great State will 
have little more to consider in the way of crime 
than those inevitable clashes of jealousy, the Crimes 
of Passion. Sordid crime will disappear; only ro- 
mantic crime will remain. 

1. I mean something far more drastic than the 
statute revision that is going on to-day, and the recent 
suppression of discussion in the House of Commons 
removes the old obstacles to symmetrical reform. 

2. Even romantic crimes are peculiar to men or 
women of no wide intellectual interests or recrea- 
tions who by reason of their limitations cannot shake 
off the obsession of a particular person or a fixed idea. 

To write on the problem of the law in the Great 
State is as difficult as to describe a strange country 
seen from an aeroplane. Only the crudest outlines 
emerge; all the essential characteristics of colour 
and scheme and detail remain gray and blurred. 
I sketch only what I can see. Yet, though it may be 
difficult to discern a celestial city, the Great State 
will at least avoid "mistaking memories for hopes," 
to adopt Hallam's famous sentence about the states- 
men of medieval Italy. I mean that the Law of the 
Great State will be untrammelled by memories of 
the golden age or a state of Nature; it will seek no 
inspiration from imaginary theodicies or pedigrees; 
it will be inviolate by greed or superstition. That 
Law may, perhaps, in sober fact embody and pro- 
claim the harmony of a better world. 



ALL free men feel that the only tolerable condi- 
tion of Government is Democracy. No such man 
will tolerate the compulsory direction of his actions 
by any temporal authority save the general will of 
his fellow-citizens. This great truism I shall assume 
as the foundation of all that I have to say in this 
essay. With those who do not feel its truth, with 
those who regard a Hereditary Aristocracy or mere- 
ly the Rich or Experts or Men in Advance of their 
Age as the proper repositories of -political power I 
shall not here argue. I will argue with them when 
they have answered the plain question of the Jesuit 
Suarez, "If sovereignty is not in the People, where 
is it?" 

Democracy, then, we assume as the fundamental 
condition of the state of society which we desire to 
create; but it is of vital importance to have in our 
minds a clear and unalterable idea of what Democ- 
racy means. Democracy means Government by 
the General Will. That is to say, it means that 
such laws as the mass of the population approves 
are passed and enforced, while such laws as are 



obnoxious to the mass of the population are rejected. 
It is clear that this has on the face of it nothing to 
do with special devices such as representation, by 
which modern men have attempted to achieve the 
end of Democracy. Despotic institutions, heredi- 
tary rulers, and representative bodies must alike be 
judged from the democratic standpoint by whether 
they do or do not result in a system of Government 
which accords with the general will of the people. 
Democracy, considered in this sense, is not a new 
thing (as our Moderns suppose), but just about the 
oldest thing in the world. In what Mr. Wells has 
christened "The Normal Social Life" practical 
Democracy has always prevailed in the matters 
which most deeply affect the ordinary existence of 
the common man. Now and then, no doubt, a far-off 
ruler not chosen by him might force the common 
man to take part in a war which was not of his 
making. Taxes not levied with his consent would 
occasionally be imposed upon him. But in the 
matters that concern his daily life, in his sowing 
and reaping, in his buying and selling, in his marry- 
ing, in the bearing and upbringing of his children, 
in his religion, and in all other things for which such 
a man normally cares, his actions would be regulated 
by the customs of his tribe or commune, and any 
disputes would be settled by a council of his neigh- 
bours. That is to say, these matters would be settled 
by the general will. He would be living, whether he 
knew it or not, under the conditions of Democracy. 



Now in this, as in other matters, what we must 
seek to effect is a return to what is wholesome and 
natural to Man in the Normal Social Life while 
availing ourselves of the advantages which a more 
elaborate system of society affords us. We must 
seek under the conditions imposed by the growth of 
larger States and the consequent necessity of a more 
extensive political organisation to obtain that which 
is obtained so easily in a simple society by the meet- 
ing of villagers under a tree. 

The matter is the more urgent because so long 
as our system of government remains essentially 
undemocratic every step in the direction of Collec- 
tivism will be a step away from Democracy. It is 
no use denying that the "permeation" of our poli- 
ticians and others with what are called "Socialist" 
ideas has tended, up to the present, rather to dimin- 
ish than to increase the power of the General Will. 
Not only have measures directed towards the regimen- 
tation of the poor and tending, not to Collectivism, 
but to the Servile State been rushed through under 
the inspiring title of "Social Reform," but even 
where the direct Nationalisation of capital was in- 
volved the rich have known how to turn the Col- 
lectivist philosophy to their use. An example at 
once deplorable and farcical may be found in the 
extraordinary history of the National Telephone 
Company, whose monopoly was first secretly created 
and then ostentatiously bought (at an exorbitant 
price) by "the Nation" that is, by the politicians, 



some of whom had also been directors. I can con- 
ceive no state of society not even a frank plutocracy 
more odious than one in which the governing class 
held all the economic power and administrated 
everything, nominally on behalf of the public, 
really on their own. And that plutocratic Collec- 
tivism is an extremely likely end to the efforts of a 
generation of Socialists, unless the machinery of the 
State can be made really to reflect the General Will. 

The method by which most modern societies have 
attempted to solve the problem of Democracy is 
the method of Representation. Since it is obviously 
impossible that all the members of a great modern 
Nation, still more of the larger federations of men 
which the future will probably see, to meet together 
in one place, and there to discuss all the details of 
political administration, it is thought that the 
same end might be achieved if certain groups of 
such men delegated their power to some person 
chosen by them who should have their authority 
to speak in their name. 

Now it is clear that the success of this experiment 
depends essentially upon the exact correspondence 
between the actions of the delegate and the wishes 
of those from whom his authority is derived. I say 
this is clear to any one who has attempted to think 
out the problem of representation. It is apparently 
by no means clear to a great many writers in the 
press or to a great many speakers on political 
platforms. These people are forever drawing an en- 



tirely meaningless distinction between "a Dele- 
gate" and what they call "a Representative." 
What this distinction means I have never been able 
to conceive. A man must vote either according to 
the wishes of his constituents or against those 
wishes. If he does the former he is acting as a 
faithful delegate would act. If he does the latter, he 
is neither a delegate nor a representative. He is an 
Oligarch. For how can we say that a man "repre- 
sents" Slocum when he is in the habit of saying 
"Aye" where the inhabitants of Slocum would, if 
consulted, say "No"? 

Now it is pretty obvious to most of us that, in 
England at any rate, there is absolutely no such 
relation as I have predicated as essential between 
the "Representative" and the people he is supposed 
to "represent." With the special causes which make 
this divorce more complete in England than else- 
where I shall have to deal in a moment. But apart 
from those special causes there is that in the very 
nature of the Representative System which tends 
to render it unrepresentative. In England to-day 
the Member of Parliament is not really in any sense 
chosen by his constituents. But even if he were 
so chosen it would still be true that the very fact of 
his having been marked out from his fellow-citizens 
for special governmental functions would give him 
a point of view which would not be quite an accurate 
mirror of the mind of those fellow-citizens. Put 
him in a room with several hundred other men 



similarly marked out from their fellow-citizens, and 
this psychological result is indefinitely intensified. 
It has always been so with political assemblies, 
however democratic their constitution, and in all 
probability it always will be so with them. 

The divorce between the Politician and the Citizen 
is, of course, enormously increased when the former 
takes to politics as a profession. 

The Professional Politician is the dominant figure 
in the Government of all civilised countries to-day, 
and nowhere is he more dominant than in England, 
where a large number of innocent persons refuse to 
believe in his existence. 

That Politics should become a profession was 
perhaps inevitable so soon as the government of 
the country was no longer the affair of the citizens 
themselves. At any rate, in all known periods 
after politics had emerged from the primitive con- 
dition of the village community the Professional 
Politician has existed. 

I shall discuss later how far he can be eliminated, 
but while he exists the important thing is to recog- 
nise that he does exist, to recognise that in all 
Nations which have developed to the point to which 
England has developed a class has appeared of 
men who make the government of the people their 
ordinary means of livelihood. 

In moments of high civic excitement it has some- 
times been possible to conduct the affairs of state 
without the payment of Politicians. This was so, 



for example, in the high hope and anger of the 
French Revolution. Then men entered politics 
urged by a passionate desire for social justice and 
a passionate patriotism, and left Politics (sometimes 
by the Tumbrils) poorer than they were in the first 
instance. It is doubtful whether, in any case, such 
self-devotion could be made permanent in times of 
comparative quiescence. But one thing is certain: 
with this intense self-devotion to the common weal 
inevitably goes an instinct that Politicians should 
be poor men. The great and determining char- 
acters in the revolutionary drama of France boasted 
.that while they administered millions they them- 
selves lodged in the cheapest lodgings and dined 
at the cheapest restaurants. 

Nothing could be more absurd than the present 
practice in England, the practice, I mean, of reward- 
ing success in politics with salaries varying from i ,200 
to 10,000 a year, and then pretending that these 
sums are of no account at all to the persons who 
receive them. Such a practice directly tends to 
produce corruption of the worst kind. A Pro- 
fessional Politician may be, like a Professional 
House-Agent, a perfectly honest man that is, he 
may endeavour to give in return for his salary honest 
and efficient service to the State. But we all know 
what would happen if it were a general assumption, 
which it was "in bad taste" to challenge, that House- 
Agents were entirely , indifferent to their fees and 
were actuated solely by compassion for persons who 



found themselves for the moment homeless and by 
a desire to see them adequately housed. Such a 
general assumption would be used by really dis- 
honest house-agents to cover their offences, while 
the honest house-agent, working, no doubt, for 
money but fairly earning it, would find himself 
handicapped. And that is exactly the condition 
of English Politics to-day. 

Politics in England, and largely throughout the 
civilised world, are for the most part a means of 
livelihood for those who concern themselves with 
them. No doubt it is true that a large number of 
men enter the House of Commons without any in- 
tention of increasing their income, some from vanity 
and the desire for an honorary distinction, some 
(very few) with a desire to express their personal 
views, and here and there (the rarest thing of all) 
a man determined to voice the opinions of his con- 
stituency. But these are not the men who direct 
Parliament or really determine the Government 
of the Country. The men who do this are the Pro- 
fessional Politicians. 

These may be broadly divided into two classes. 
There are the men who belong by birth to what we 
may call the governing class. These are considered 
to have a right to co-option into salaried political 
posts. It is to them that Mr. Belloc's amusing 
poem refers: 

"It happened to Lord Lundy then, 
As happens to so many men, 


About the age of twenty-six 
They shoved him into Politics. 
In which profession he commanded 
The salaries his rank demanded." 

This is on the whole the most harmless and least 
corrupt kind of professionalism in politics. Such 
men are apprenticed to politics as a profession (that 
is, as a means of making money) just as men of 
humbler rank are apprenticed to be Solicitors, 
Greengrocers, or Compositors, because their parents 
happen to be able to command for them an opening 
in these trades. Such men, if they happen to be 
honest men, often try to do their best to earn their 
money by serving the community to the best of 
their ability. This method of choosing governors 
is repugnant to Democracy, but is not clearly re- 
pugnant to plain morals or to the national interest. 
It is the method by which all oligarchical States are 
governed. It was the method by which England 
was governed during the eighteenth and the greater 
part of the nineteenth century. 

A much worse form of Political Professionalism 
has arisen of late years. Young men, conscious 
perhaps of some talent, enter Parliament with the 
deliberate intention of getting a salaried place from 
those at whose disposal such places and salaries 
are placed. Such a man violates, of course, the 
essential idea of representation as it has been out- 
lined above. His intention is not to serve his 
constituency, but to serve those from whom he 

14 205 


expects his pecuniary reward that is, the very 
Executive which he is supposed to check and crit- 
icise. If a sufficient number of such men are re- 
turned to the representative assembly, it is obvious 
that such an assembly will exist only to ratify the 
decisions of the Executive; that is to say, from the 
democratic point of view, it will not exist at all. 
And that practically is the state of the case at the 
present time. 

Men that is, the men that count enter Parlia- 
ment with an eye to a professional career. This 
career can only be obtained by leave of the small 
co-opted group which constitutes " the Government " 
and "the Official Opposition" that is, those who, 
though not at the moment in receipt of public 
money, expect to receive it when a change of govern- 
ment shall take place. He knows very well that 
certain votes and speeches will hurt his chances of 
ever making any money in politics, while certain 
other votes and speeches will help him to do so. 
Naturally, like any other man pursuing his trade, 
he desires to ingratiate himself with his customer; 
and he speaks and votes accordingly. Add to this 
the fact that in England the Executive has the power 
at any moment of ordering a dissolution of Parlia- 
ment, that Elections are very expensive, that only 
very rich men can afford to finance their own can- 
didatures, that a vast secret fund exists to finance 
such candidatures, and that this fund is readily 
placed at the disposal of those and of those only 



who are ready to act as the subservient retainers 
of the successful professionals, and you have an 
adequate explanation of the undemocratic character 
of English politics to-day. 

I have already said that it is dubious whether we 
can ever dispense altogether with the Professional 
Politicians under ordinary conditions. But one 
thing is clear. If Politics are to remain a profession, 
that profession must in the public interest be most 
strictly safeguarded. That is to say, every temp- 
tation to which the politician may be subjected to 
act against the interest of those who employ him 
must be most carefully provided against ; and any 
disposition on his part to prefer his private interests 
to his duty of obedience to the general will must 
be immediately and rigorously punished. It is 
to this end that I now propose to devote some 

One necessity stands out manifest and incontro- 
vertible. If politics are to be aProfession,the profession 
of Executive Administrator must be kept strictly separate 
from the profession of Delegate to the Legislature. If 
this is not so, the Legislature can never in the nature 
of things be really independent of the Executive, 
and can, therefore, never really act as an effective 
check upon it. Every member of the Legislature 
body will be on the lookout for the more profitable 
administrative posts. These posts will of necessity 
be in the gift of the Executive. They will neces- 
sarily be bestowed upon those of whose conduct the 



Executive approves. The Executive will naturally 
approve of the conduct of those who do not oppose 
or even criticise it. Therefore there will be (as 
in fact there is to-day) an immense pressure upon 
members of the Representative Body not to act in 
a representative fashion, but rather to use all the 
power and influence they possess to support, not those 
who have elected them, but those from whom they 
expect benefits. 

It is obvious that in any state of society some one 
or other must be intrusted with the business of 
practical executive administration. It is equally 
obvious that no man can reasonably be expected to 
take on such a task as a mere hobby. He must be 
paid for it; it must be his means of livelihood, in a 
word, his profession. To that there is, in the ab- 
stract, no more objection than there is to the pro- 
fession of Doctor, House-Agent, or Butcher, pro- 
vided always that the employer of such a man 
i. e., the Community has as full a control over him 
as a man has over the tradesmen he employs. A 
butcher does not supply you with such meat as he 
may think will suit your health or personal efficiency, 
but with such meat as you demand. So long as the 
expert administrator confines himself to endeavour- 
ing to satisfy his clients as the butcher does and 
makes no pretence to an authority superior to that 
of his clients, he is harmless and may be exceedingly 
useful. It is impossible to deny that the details of 
administration in a modern state are so complex that 



the sheer routine work of administration does, and 
must, involve a degree of special knowledge to which 
the ordinary citizen cannot and would not choose 
to attain. So does the trade of a bootmaker. I 
cannot make a pair of boots. I have to ask a boot- 
maker to make them for me. But and this is the 
essential point I am the judge of the pair of boots 
when made: if they do not fit me I reject them and 
dismiss my bootmaker. I am in no way deterred 
from following this course by the assurance that 
the bootmaker is "an expert" or that he is "more 
advanced" than I, or by any other of the pretences 
by which oligarchy is being once more foisted upon 
the people. 

The great problem, then, is that of the control of 
the necessary professional administrator by the 
General Will. It is, I admit, an exceedingly difficult 
problem, and for the present I can see no solution 
save the old expedient of a representative assembly 
defective as I know that expedient to be. I have 
often wondered whether some one would not one 
day hit upon a method of extending to general 
politics the much more really democratic method 
of the Common Jury. I have often had a fancy, for 
example, for a Second Chamber constituted upon 
that principle a name chosen by lot from the voting 
list of every constituency, attendance to be com- 
pulsory, and a reasonable and equal remuneration to 
be granted to every person compelled to attend. 
I am quite confident that such a chamber would 



represent the General Will a great deal better than 
either the House of Lords or the House of Commons 
has done in the past, and would make very short 
work (to the great satisfaction of the mass of the 
population) of much legislation that has passed with 
ease and with "the consent of all parties" through 
our present Parliament. 

But I do not pretend to have any such scheme 
ready for practical advocacy; and so for the present 
we must rest content with the representative system, 
doing, at the same time, all that we can to prevent 
its abuse, to mitigate its inevitable failings, and, 
above all, to keep it continually controlled by the 
direct expression of the General Will. 

Let us first draw as clear a distinction as we can 
between the inevitable defects of representation and 
the accidental evils to which it does make it quite 
intolerable in this country. 

Take the latter first. 

In England to-day representative government 
suffers from two prime evils. First, the representa- 
tive assembly is not independent of the executive, 
and therefore cannot control it. Secondly, it is not 
freely chosen by the people, nor does it derive its 
effective mandate from the people; but its composi- 
tion is selected and its programme devised by those 
very professional politicians upon whose actions it 
is supposed to exist as a check. 

I have already adumbrated my view of the first 
necessary step in dealing with the former of the 



two evils. The members of the representative as- 
sembly should in no case whatsoever be allowed to 
become administrators paid by the Executive. Let 
them be paid, by all means, for the services they 
render as representatives to the people by the people 
whom they represent, and let the people who pay 
them see that they are really represented. But let 
them all be paid exactly alike, whether they support 
or oppose the Executive, and let there be a strict 
rule that no one shall within, say, ten years of sitting 
in the legislature receive public money in any form 
from the Executive. In that case, if commercial 
motives enter in any way into their calculations, they 
will find that their interest lies primarily in standing 
well with their constituents. Their constituents can 
deprive them of their salaries; the "Government" 
cannot. On the lowest motive, therefore, it will be 
better for them to please those who elect them than 
those whom they are elected to control. 

What, then, will become of "the Ministry"? It 
will disappear. The professional head of a depart- 
ment strictly excluded from the assembly will 
remain. The popular assembly elected to control 
that permanent head will remain. Probably the 
assembly will find it convenient to divide itself into 
Committees for this purpose, though such Commit- 
tees should have no more than investigatory and 
advisory powers. The decision must rest with the 
assembly itself. But the "Minister" that is, the 
Professional Politician who has entered Parliament 



by pretending to represent some body of electors 
and has consented for a salary not to represent them, 
but to represent instead the Caucus that pays him 
for him the new Democracy will have no use. 

But when you have liberated the Representative 
Assembly from the control of that little group of 
Professional Politicians which is commonly called 
"The Government," but which I have always pre- 
ferred to designate more accurately as "The Two 
Front Benches," you have not, therefore, necessarily 
made it really responsible to the people. That is, 
you have not achieved Democracy. It must be in- 
sisted upon again that, though the present political 
regime in England intensifies all the evils and 
dangers of Representative Government while de- 
priving it of all its uses, yet there are evils, there are 
dangers which are not created by the regime, and 
which would not necessarily cease with the overthrow 
of that regime. They are found in America and 
elsewhere where that particular regime is unknown. 
They are inherent in the nature of Representative 
Institutions themselves. Every body of men cut off 
from the ordinary life of their fellow-citizens and 
vested with special powers tends, unless popularly 
controlled, to become an Oligarchy. We can see both 
in history and at the present time examples of as- 
semblies internally free but irresponsible, and govern- 
ing according to their own interests or prejudices, 
without regard to popular mandate. The Grand 
Council of Venice was such an assembly, and the 



English House of Commons in the eighteenth cen- 
tury; to a certain extent the French Chamber is 
such to-day. 

Against this peril the only real security is a 
vigilant and instructed popular opinion. With such 
an opinion always goes an extreme distrust of the 
representative, a feeling that he will always cheat 
you if he can, and a determination that he shall not 
be allowed to do so. Walt Whitman saw very far 
indeed into the truth when he set down as one of 
the conditions of his ideal State that the people 
should be "always ready to rise up against the 
never-ending audacity of Elected Persons." 

The chief change needed, then, is, it must be ad- 
mitted, a change in the popular psychology. Never- 
theless, there are changes in machinery which would 
be the necessary accompaniments of such a change, 
and which may do a great deal to make it easier. 
And here I come to methods which the peculiar 
independence of the several States of the Union has 
already enabled America to put to the test, in cer- 
tain cases, upon which an American writer may be 
better qualified to write than myself. 

Chief among these is the re-creation of the elec- 
toral unit as a thing capable of political initiative. 
What I mean is this We say that Slocum sent Sir 
Josiah Gudge to Parliament to carry out a certain 
"programme." As a matter of fact, Slocum had 
nothing to do either with choosing Sir Josiah or 
with framing his programme. It could have noth- 



ing to do with either as things stand even if the 
special corruption incidental to the English political 
system was removed, for Slocum has no organised 
and articulate political existence. In a word, it 
has no initiative, and has to take its programme 
from Sir Josiah, and Sir Josiah from whatever 
Unknown Powers may have decreed his candidature. 
It is obvious that if we are to have democracy this 
state of things must be ended. Whatever body of 
men elect, our representatives must be organised for 
collective action, must be articulate, must be ca- 
pable of framing their own demands, of choosing, 
controlling, and, if need be, punishing their ser- 

I am inclined to think that it will eventually be 
found that a better system of representation can be 
obtained by representing men by their guilds or 
trades rather than by their localities. The geo- 
graphical method of election really dates back to a 
time when small local units, still essentially in the 
phase of the Normal Social Life, had a natural 
homogeneity. They have no such homogeneity 
to-day. The State no longer consists of a collection 
of village communes; nor is the type of State the 
government of which we are here discussing con- 
ceived as being organised in such a fashion. But 
the State must always consist of groups of citizens 
co-operating for certain necessary social purposes, 
and it is to the Guilds, which will naturally, under 
a system of co-operative production, spring up 



throughout industrial worlds, that I should look to 
find the Electoral Unit of the future. 

I do not wish to trespass upon the subject of in- 
dustrial organisation, which is dealt with in this 
volume by other and abler pens ; but it is so essential 
to Democracy that the Electing Body should be one 
with large powers of control over its own affairs 
that I should be very glad to see these Guilds in- 
vested with considerable powers of self-government 
under the general supervision of the National Ex- 
ecutive. Of course, it would not do to give the 
coal-miners, for example, irresponsible control of the 
coal-fields. The coal-fields must be national prop- 
erty; on that we agree. But I do not see why all 
details of management, such matters as the hours 
of labour, provision against accident, and the like, 
should not be settled directly by the organised 
workers concerned. If such powers were vested in 
these Guilds, you would start with the immense ad- 
vantage, from the democratic point of view, of an 
electing body accustomed to debate, to decisive 
action, and to the control of its own affairs, which 
would be able to thrash out the instructions to be 
given to its delegate, and to send him to the repre- 
sentative assembly with a real mandate derived 
from themselves. 

Incidentally it should be remarked that such an 
infusion of reality into the operations of the electoral 
unit would go far to meet such cases as that of 
the United States, where the evils arise, not from the 



oligarchical control of a small clique, but rather from 
the omnipotence of a political Machine subject to 
no real popular control. And a further check upon 
the development of a two-party system in which 
there is no wider alternative than the chances of two 
candidates may, perhaps, be found in some such 
method of voting as Proportional Representation 
affords. Of course it is essential that the control of 
the Electing Body over the delegates should be 
absolute. Two checks on their action would greatly 
help to accomplish this. 

The first check is the Recall. Not only should 
elections be reasonably frequent, but a certain pro- 
portion of the Electors should at any time have the 
right to demand a general poll on the question of 
whether the delegate was or was not carrying out 
the mandate of his constituents. Should the vote 
go against him, the delegate would have to resign, 
and another would be elected in his place. The mere 
threat of this action would probably be enough in 
most cases to prevent the delegate from shamelessly 
and continually violating his trust, as is so often 
done to-day. 

The second check is the Referendum accompanied 
by the Initiative. How powerful a weapon even 
under the present degrading political conditions is the 
popular plebiscite may be perceived by noting the 
horror with which the Professional Politicians regard 
it, and the panic which seized them when one of their 
own number was imprudent enough to mention it a 



couple of years ago. But for the Referendum to be 
a really effective democratic weapon it must be 
capable of being put into force, not merely on the 
initiative of the legislature itself or on any section of 
it, but on the initiative of a fixed proportion of the 
Electors. Indeed, for my part, I am disposed to 
think that under the freer political system such as 
I have sketched no substantial alteration of the laws 
should be passed without a direct appeal to the 
popular will. To those who are incapable of looking 
beyond the corruptions and futilities of modern 
politics such a pronouncement will doubtless seem 
absurd. But we are presupposing that those cor- 
ruptions and futilities are at an end; and when they 
are at an end there will be no need whatsoever for all 
this plethora of legislation which we have come to 
think of as something inevitable. When one comes 
to consider it in the abstract it is really rather absurd 
that a nation should have to keep some six hundred 
men busy for nine months in the year at the inter- 
minable task of continually altering its laws. If 
just laws can once be established, it is reasonable to 
suppose that for some considerable time at any rate 
they will prove adequate Doubtless from time to 
time some unforeseen change in economic or other 
conditions may necessitate modifications, but I do 
not look forward in the Great State to the unending 
legislation of our own time a legislation which owes 
its necessity at best to the need for patching up a 
system in process of active decay, and at worst to 



the requirements of the Party "Programme" and, 
what is much more important, the Party War 
Chest No doubt the change from the present basis 
of society to a juster and healthier one will mean a 
good deal of drastic law-making and I suspect a 
good deal of law-breaking also but, once the change 
accomplished, I should expect a vital alteration of the 
laws under which citizens are to live to be almost as 
rare a thing in the State of the Future as it was in 
the settled and happy communities of the past. 

Such are a few of the comparatively rough and 
crude suggestions that I would make for the demo- 
cratic organisation of the State of the future. They 
pretend to be nothing more than an outline, and even 
as an outline they will doubtless require much 
modification. Every democrat must feel a certain 
disinclination to lay down hard-and-fast conditions 
for the future, if only for this reason, that, if his 
democratic faith be genuine, he desires that the 
people should have, not the form of government he 
likes, but the form of government they themselves 
like. That is what has always made me dislike 
answering detailed questions as to how this or that 
would be done "under Socialism." I may have 
thought of a very ingenious answer, but it does not 
follow that it is the answer that my fellow-citizens 
will give. And it is for them, not for me, to pro- 
nounce the ultimate decision. Securus judicat orbis 





IN forecasting or rather in making a tentative 
endeavour to forecast the position of woman in 
the Great State, one wrestles from the outset with 
difficulties; whereof the first and most obstinate 
is the practical impossibility, under present condi- 
tions, of coming to a definite conclusion as to how 
far the traditional and still existing inferiority of 
woman with its resultant dependence, mental and 
economic, upon the other sex is the product of 
natural demands and forces, how far the artificial 
creation of the class distinctions of the Normal 
Social Life. That is to say, of a society which, 
for countless generations, has looked upon its 
female members merely as the breeding and love- 
making class the wives or mistresses of its male 
members and the mothers of its children. It would 
be comparatively easy, of course, to launch out into 
a prophecy of inevitable improvement in the posi- 
tion of such a class, in the shape of amended condi- 
tions of wifehood and motherhood and so forth; 
but such considerations would leave the essential 
point untouched. Amended conditions and improve- 

15 221 


ments are bound to come; but whether, when they 
do come, they raise woman in general to a relatively 
higher level in the community than she occupies at 
present; whether, when they do come, they endow 
her with freedom, real as well as nominal, or leave 
her adorned and shackled with comfortable chains, 
is a question to which, at the present moment, it 
might be rash to return too absolute an answer. 
One has hopes, of course, encouraged by the obvious 
trend of the Woman's Movement of to-day towards 
independence independence at any cost, mental, 
economic, and moral, as well as political; but as- 
pirations equally fierce and far-reaching have been 
stifled before now, and may be stifled again, by the 
gift of material benefit. Equitable marriage and 
illegitimacy laws, for instance, the endowment of 
motherhood, and the prevention of sweating are 
quite compatible with continued masculine confu- 
sion of the terms "woman" and "wife," and with 
continued feminine acquiescence in such masculine 
confusion of ideas. A parasite is none the less a 
parasite because fed well, housed well, clothed well, 
and generally made much of. 

If we suppose as I think we are entitled to 
suppose that the danger I have indicated is in the 
end surmounted, and that woman in the Great State 
is recognised as an individual with capacities apart 
from domesticity, love-making, and child-bearing, 
with an existence independent of husband, lover, or 
son, her position in the State will, as in the case of the 



male citizen, be determined by two factors what 
the State has the right to demand of her, and what 
she, on her side, as individual and citizen, has the 
right and the energy, or power, to demand of the 
State. . . . What the State has the right to de- 
mand of her will be that she, like her father, her 
husband, her brother, shall conduct herself decently 
and in accordance with its laws. What it has not 
the right to demand of her either directly or in- 
directly, by bribe or by indirect pressure is that 
she, in return for its protection, shall consider 
herself under any obligation to produce its future 

This distinction in the Great State must be made 
absolute, clear, and emphatic; since, without it, 
the position of woman, however improved mate- 
rially, however safeguarded by law, will remain 
fundamentally unaltered and fundamentally un- 
sound. Unaltered and therefore, essentially un- 
dignified because perpetuating the hoary but 
active tradition that woman does not count except 
as a wife and the mother of children; unsound, 
because artificially restricting her energies and pos- 
sibilities by confining them to the channels of 
sexual attraction and reproduction of the race. 
Once admit such a principle into the conduct of any 
State, however great the principle that women in 
general can deserve well of the social organism not 
directly as individuals, as workers and citizens, but 
only indirectly through their husbands and the 



children they bear them and you reopen the door 
to all the abuses of the past: to the grossest forms 
of tyranny and sex dominance on the one side, and, 
on the other, to degradation spiritual as well as 

It is to be hoped that the woman of the near 
future will have the power, as she will cer- 
tainly have the right, to demand in her own in- 
terest as in that of the community at large 
that this distinction shall be made. (For instance, 
to take a concrete case, it is to be hoped that she 
will be energetic and clear-thinking enough to insist 
that such a needful and inevitable measure as the 
State Endowment of Motherhood shall not take the 
form of a bribe to bear children or an economic 
stimulus to her sexual instincts.) I may be wrong; 
but, as I see it, the future and progress not only of 
womanhood, but of the race in general, depends 
largely upon whether or no woman is able to insist 
that the satisfaction of her sexual instincts and the 
consequent bringing of her children into the world 
shall be an entirely voluntary in other words, 
an entirely natural proceeding on her part. Until 
the satisfaction of these instincts and the consequent 
bearing of children do become entirely voluntary, 
entirely natural; until no compulsion, social or 
economic, drives women into marriage or prosti- 
tution, it is practically useless to imagine that you 
can really and permanently raise the level of the 
mothers of the race. (And in this connection I 



would remind those who still cling to the belief that 
we exist only for sexual attraction and motherhood 
that if they are correct in their estimate of the over- 
powering strength of our natural instincts, these 
natural instincts can surely be left to themselves 
no additional or artificial stimulus being needed in 
order to induce us to fill our destiny.) 

I may possibly be misunderstood when I say that 
the first duty of an enlightened community towards 
its women will be to secure to them the right to 
refuse marriage and motherhood; but I say it, and 
say it with emphasis. The common sense and civic 
view of marriage and motherhood is that in them- 
selves, and, as far as the community is concerned, 
these natural relationships are neither good nor bad, 
desirable nor undesirable, moral nor immoral; that 
whether they are desirable or undesirable, moral or 
immoral, depends upon the kind of marriage and the 
quality of the parents and their offspring. Any 
system that encourages indiscriminate commercial 
marriage on the part of women marriage for the 
sake of a home or breadwinner, marriage as the only 
alternative to the social stigma of spinsterhood, and 
the bearing of children for the same reasons is to 
be deprecated and, in the Great State, will be depre- 
cated as much in the interest of the child as of the 
mother. It is, of course, impossible to regulate the 
workings of human passion and attraction as you 
regulate the workings of a watch; men and women 
will mate for foolish, fleeting, and inadequate reasons 



as long as the world goes round. But it ought to 
be possible to insure that the social system should 
not, as it does at present, encourage marriage and 
child bearing from mean and inadequate, if entirely 
excusable motives; shall not, as it does at present, 
force its women into motherhood through the press- 
ure of poverty or the insidious cruelty of closing 
to them every other avenue to activity and advance- 
ment. It ought to be possible for a sane and clear- 
thinking society, by the simple process of securing 
to women alternative means of livelihood, alternative 
careers, to make of marriage for women what mar- 
riage for women never yet has been a voluntary 

The entire question now at issue, not only between 
Woman and the State, but between Woman and 
Society in general, can be narrowed down to this: 
has she, like the other half of the race, a primary, 
individual, and responsible existence? or is she what 
may be called a secondary being such value to the 
community as she possesses being derivative only 
and arising out of her family relations to other 
persons? Is she, in short, a personality, or merely 
the reproductive faculty personified? ... So far 
roughly speaking and allowing for a certain number 
of exceptions she has counted in the world's history 
and progress in the secondary sense only; as the 
personification of the reproductive faculty, as wife, 
as mistress, and as mother of sons. It remains to be 
seen whether she is able to establish and maintain a 



right to count as an actual personality, an individual 
and direct member of the social organism. That 
right, once established, would bring with it inevitably 
the further right to select her own manner of living 
as freely as a man does; and to resent legislative or 
other attempts to induce her to support herself or 
serve the State in one particular fashion, legislative 
or other attempts to make the sacrifice of mother- 
hood anything but a purely voluntary sacrifice. 

One realises the difficulties of so complete a change 
not only in the attitude of man to woman, but in 
the attitude of woman towards herself. Two of 
these difficulties at the present day loom promi- 
nently; the economic and the sentimental. The 
Great State, one takes it, would deal trenchantly 
with the first the economic difficulty; even its 
sourest spinster would not need to starve. But the 
stodgy mass of false sentiment on the subject of 
sexual relations and children that has come down 
to us through the ages the glorification of mother- 
hood, however compulsory, however stupidly un- 
thinking that is a more insidious and more deadly 
matter. It is through that stodgy mass of false 
sentiment that the woman of to day and to-morrow 
has got to wade if she is ever to attain to anything 
like moral and intellectual equality with her brother 
and her mate. And be it noted that, in order to 
overcome false sentiment and false idealism, she 
must refuse most steadfastly to take advantage of it. 
If the Great or any other State is once permitted 



to look upon its women with a sentimental eye, the 
last condition of those women will be even as their 
first. Once more they will sink back into the class 
of wives and mothers, and found their claims to con- 
sideration solely upon their position as the breeding 
factor of the race; whereupon the Law, like the 
society from which it emanates, will pet them and 
kick them by turns. Once more they will slide back 
to the position of parasites living by sexual attraction 
and finding favour in the eyes of husband or lover 
on the express condition that they do not presume 
to compete with husband or lover in intellect. 

It is not, I think, generally recognised how largely 
one may hope entirely the undoubtedly low level 
of intelligence in woman, as compared with man, is 
the direct result and product of dire economic 
necessity, the need for bread or the need for success in 
life. It has paid woman in the past in some walks 
of life, notably marriage, it still pays them to be 
stupid; intelligence in woman has been an obstacle 
to, not a qualification for, motherhood. The con- 
sciousness of superiority is a pleasant thing; and it 
is a sober fact that for countless generations the 
human male has taken real and active pleasure in 
despising the mental attainments of the human 
female; has insisted with emphasis that the wife 
of his bosom, the mother of his children, should be a 
creature he could look down upon as well as love. 
Standing in the position of capitalist of employer 
in a compulsory trade the average husband was 



able to dictate terms, to bargain for and obtain in 
his helpmeet the low level of intellectuality which he 
considered necessary to his comfort and self-esteem. 
With the bitter result for the human race that the 
mothers thereof have been, to a great extent, se- 
lected for their lack of wisdom and encouraged to be 
greater fools than nature intended to make them. 

I have already taken it for granted that the State 
of the future will deal with this economic temptation 
to stupidity on the part of woman by assuring her 
bread and by opening to her other careers than mar- 
riage, many of them demanding the use of intel- 
ligence. Certainty of bread alone will not provide 
her with brains; but, by automatically removing the 
need to cultivate stupidity for a livelihood, it will 
place her in a position to make use of such brain as 
she possesses; with probable results of importance 
to herself as well as to the race. 

It may possibly be urged that the placing of the 
average woman in a position of economic equality 
with himself would not necessarily remove the deep- 
seated desire of the average man to despise the part- 
ner of his joys and sorrows. Under present condi- 
tions it is impossible to speak with certainty on the 
point ; and it may be, of course, that the said desire 
is instinctive and inherent rather than artificial and 
acquired. But, whether instinctive or acquired, 
there can be no doubt about its evil results on the 
race in general; and the duty of a far-sighted com- 
munity is to control, as far as possible, such instincts 



as are dangerous to its health and progress by the 
provision of an adequate system of check and counter- 
balance. Human nature, unfortunately, tends to 
despise and take pleasure in subjecting its economic 
as well as its intellectual inferiors; thus, with the 
removal of general economic disability, it is more 
than possible that the masculine estimate of, and 
consideration for, woman will rise to a higher level. 
So far as I can make out there are few grounds for 
the supposition that the sex instinct in man is so 
faint as to run serious risk of extinction through loss 
of contempt for its object; but, even in the rather 
unlikely event of a considerable diminution in 
woman's power of sex attraction, society in general 
would have no right of complaint against her. On 
the contrary, society in general owes her a heavy 
debt for the sacrifice of all those qualities and pos- 
sibilities of her life which, according to its narrow 
judgment, interfered with her primary duty of 
attracting the opposite sex. 

I have not the faintest doubt that the motive 
power underlying the present and growing revolt 
of woman against her traditional conditions of en- 
vironment is the strengthening consciousness of her 
own degradation a degradation which is the direct 
result of her environment, the direct result of gen- 
erations of cramped intellectuality and concentra- 
tion of all powers of mind and body upon sexual 
attraction and child-bearing. The usual justifica- 
tion for a state of things which has resulted in the 



undesirable inferiority of woman to man, in mind 
as well as in body, is the welfare of the race. (In 
this connection one concludes that the word "race" 
is used to denote only the masculine half of the 
species.) The welfare of the race, we are given to 
understand, demands that a woman shall live only 
through and by her husband and her children; the 
sacrifice to them of all her other interests and ener- 
gies is a sacrifice demanded of her by Nature in 
the interests of the species. ... It is obvious that 
Nature does demand a sacrifice from the mothers 
of the race; the sacrifice of physical suffering; but, 
with regard to the other disabilities imposed upon 
her, there are two or three questions which woman 
is beginning to ask, and to which she has a right to 
demand plain answers. They run something like 

How far has Society the right to increase the bur- 
den that Nature has laid on her? 

How far has Society the right, hitherto exercised, 
to insist on a training and environment which en- 
courages bodily weakness and moral and intel- 
lectual dependence in women? 

Is it possible to enfeeble one-half of the race and 
leave the other half free to fulfil its destiny of 
progress, or does man born of woman have to share 
in the end the degradation he has allotted to oth- 

Roughly speaking, it is expediency that will an- 
swer in the end. If, in the long run, it be proved 


that the race cannot get on without sacrificing in 
the process the individuality and independence of 
its women, without crushing them into one mould, 
without confining their energies to one channel- 
then in the long run the race will have to insist in 
the future, as it has insisted in the past, on the de- 
pendence mental, moral, and physical, on the 
virtual subjection of its women. If, on the other 
hand, it be proved and realised as the modern 
feminist believes that it will be proved and realised 
that woman, as an integral part of the species, 
cannot be brutalised and retarded in her personal 
development without, in her turn, brutalising and 
retarding Society in general; that the excessive 
sacrifice demanded of her is not paid by herself 
alone, but that her consequent inferiority reacts 
upon the son of woman who desires and encourages it ; 
that the consistent policy of regarding her as nothing 
but the breeding factor of the race has actually im- 
paired her value as the breeding factor of the race 
then it will be manifestly the interest as well as the 
duty of Society in general to reconsider its attitude 
towards woman and seek not to increase but to allevi- 
ate and counteract the burden of weakness laid on 
her by Nature. If it be proved to the satisfaction of 
Society that woman as a parasite condemned to live 
by sexual attraction, by marriage and prostitution, 
is a source, not of strength, but of weakness to the 
State, not of strength, but of weakness to the race, 
Society, as a matter of course, will do all in its 



power to discourage parasitism and encourage in- 
dependence in women. For the simple reason that, 
in casting up its accounts, it will have discovered 
how high a price it has paid for sex dominance, on 
one hand, and sex subjection, on the other how 
high a price in blood and brain and money and hope- 
less confusion of issues. 

Let me condense, then, into as few words as possible 
the root principles which I conceive will actuate the 
Great State in its endeavours to deal justly with 
women as a class. 

1. Having recognised parasitism as an evil, the 
Great State will discourage that form of feminine 
parasitism which gains a livelihood through the 
exercise of sexual attraction. That is to say, it 
will render it unnecessary for any woman to earn 
her livelihood by means of her powers of sexual 

2. Having recognised women as citizens and in- 
dividuals with a primary instead of secondary ex- 
istence, a place in the world as well as in the house 
the Great State will permit and encourage them to 
employ their energies and abilities in every direc- 
tion in which they desire to employ such energies 
and abilities. That is to say, it will throw open to 
them every department of work at which they desire 
and can prove their fitness to occupy themselves; 
thereby insuring, so far as it is humanly possible 
to insure, that marriage shall not be made by 
women, and children brought into the world by 



them, merely because there is nothing else for 
women to do but make marriages and bear children. 
The Great State, in short, will hold it better that a 
woman whose tastes do not lie in the direction of 
maternity should be a good spinster instead of an 
indifferent mother. 

It may be urged that from my point of view the 
Great State is an institution for the promotion of 
the celibate life and the more or less rapid extinction 
of the race. To which I can only reply that mar- 
riage, as it affects one party to the contract man 
has existed for a considerable period of time as a 
purely voluntary institution, and that it does not 
appear to be any less popular with him on that 
account. I fail to see, therefore, why the modifi- 
cation of the compulsory character of the institution, 
as it affects the other party to the contract woman 
should make it any less popular with her. Unless, 
indeed, and in spite of all that has been sung and 
said and written about woman's love and need of 
motherhood, the sex instinct in us is so feeble a 
thing that it will only work on compulsion the 
pressure of hunger, the lack of other occupation or 
interest. ... If that should turn out to be the case, 
I admit with all frankness that I see no particular 
harm in leaving the sex and maternal instinct in 
woman to die out of its own feebleness, to perish 
in its own inertness; but, speaking personally, I see 
no reason to suppose that so the world's troubles 
will shortly be brought to end. 



If I refrain from prophecy concerning the par- 
ticular direction in which the influence of women 
who have attained to complete recognition as citi- 
zens and individuals will make itself felt in the State 
of the future, it is, honestly, because I find such 
prophecy not merely difficult, but impossible. There 
are certain things it is fairly safe to say: as, for in- 
stance, that women in the main will always concern 
themselves intimately with such legislation as affects 
the conditions of motherhood and the health and 
education of children. But the point of view from 
which the absolutely free woman will approach 
legislation affecting the condition of motherhood and 
the health and education of children is a point of 
view at present non-existent, or, at best, only 
struggling into being. Enactments framed for the 
protection of workers at a compulsory trade as 
marriage still is to a great extent, for women will 
necessarily be very different in character from enact- 
ments framed to suit or improve the conditions of 
workers who have a wide field of occupation and 
livelihood to choose from. It is quite within the 
bounds of possibility that workers with a wide field 
of occupation and livelihood to choose from might 
be unable to see why conjugal affection should be 
interpreted as a desire to enter domestic service 
without wages. It is quite within the bounds of 
possibility that they might be unable to see any 
necessary connection between conjugal affection and 
domestic service, between the frying of bacon and 



the bearing of the future citizen; and that, regard- 
ing domestic service and conjugal affection as en- 
tirely separate departments of human life and effort, 
they would draw a sharp line of distinction and 
division between housekeeping and marital love. . . . 
The above is not intended as a prophecy; it is a 
suggestion merely, a simple example of an every-day 
problem which has not yet been approached by 
women sufficiently independent in mind and in 
pocket to attempt their own solution of it. It may 
be that, when such women do attempt it, their solu- 
tion thereof will be the present, or masculine, solu- 
tion; but, on the other hand, it may not. . . . The 
only thing we know with certainty concerning the 
attitude of the human race towards housework is 
that men dislike it. Women, if asked, might be of 
the same opinion. So far they have not been asked. 
In the same way we can surmise with safety that 
the present terms of the contract of marriage will 
undergo considerable modification; but it would be 
rash to attempt an indication of the precise nature 
of such modification. A bargain struck between 
economic and social equals who desire to unite their 
lives will, of necessity, be an entirely different affair 
from a bargain struck, as at present, between a 
member of a superior male class and a member of an 
inferior female class. Further, the requirements of 
a woman who merely desires a husband will differ to 
a considerable extent from the requirements of the 
woman who is endeavouring to secure not only a 



husband, but a means of livelihood, a home or a 
refuge from the despised estate of spinsterhood. 
For both parties to the contract the situation will 
be simplified enormously; between them will lie 
the clear issue under present conditions obscured 
of mating and the rearing of children. . . . There 
will be a foundation to build upon; rock-bottom 
to work from. 

If I have expressed my meaning with any degree 
of clearness it will be understood that I consider the 
best service the Great State can render to its women 
will be to allow them to find their own level. That 
is to say, to allow them to discovef by means of 
education and experiment the precise point at which 
the real disabilities imposed on them by Nature can 
be distinguished from the traditional and artificial 
disabilities imposed on them by Society. And in 
this connection nothing should be assumed, nothing 
should be taken for granted. 

It should not be assumed, for instance, that 
because a woman has married a husband and borne 
him children her entire existence her hopes and 
her pleasures and ambitions are bound up in wife- 
hood and maternity. Any more than it should be 
assumed that a wife and mother has an unaccount- 
able, instinctive preference for forms of labour 
heartily disliked by other persons; forms of labour 
which bring her in neither personal advancement 
nor monetary reward. It should not be assumed 

16 237 


that the longing for and love of children exists in 
every woman ; it should not be assumed that it is un- 
natural or abnormal for a woman to vary from the 
accepted type. It should not be assumed that 
woman is a childlike barbarian guided only by her 
instincts, by the promptings of sex and maternity. . . . 
All these assumptions, of course, may be perfectly 
correct; but, under present conditions and without 
experience and experiment, I maintain that we have 
no right to regard them as anything but speculative 
guesses. Under present, and still more under past 
conditions all these assumptions, these speculative 
guesses, have not only been acted upon by the 
masculine half of humanity, but instilled, from its 
infancy upwards, into the feminine half of the race. 
With the result that a good many of us are in the hu- 
miliating position of not knowing what it is we want. 
All we do know is that, for some mysterious reason, 
we don't want the things we are told we ought to 
want, don't like the things we are told we ought to 
like. . . . And the Great State will have to give us 
leave to find ourselves. 

It is possible that the process of finding ourselves 
may take time. We have the accumulation of gen- 
erations of artificiality to throw off of artificially 
induced virtues as well as of artificially induced vices. 
Submission and humility are not always compatible 
with self-respect; complete absorption in the life of 
another with progress in "fine thinking." "Love 
and fine thinking," one takes it, will not always be 



demanded, as now, in separate consignments from 
the separate sexes. The woman's point of view will 
be asked for, not snubbed out of existence, by the 
social organism of the future; hence, the woman will 
have to fight her way to a point of view essentially 
her own. 

That she will hate doing so goes without saying. 
In all ages man, in the mass, has hated the trouble 
of thinking, has paid, implored others to do his 
thinking for him: and it has never been enjoined 
upon man, as it has upon woman, in the mass, that 
he had no need to think, that ignorance was another 
name for virtue. So much and so often has stupidity 
been enjoined upon us, and so completely have we 
obeyed the injunction, that out of our compliance 
there has grown up the legend that nature has 
designed us as creatures incapable of connected 
thought. It is said and believed of us that the 
mental processes by which we arrive at conclusions 
are essentially and radically different from the mental 
processes whereby the same conclusions are arrived 
at by our men-folk; that, in short, we are instinctive 
or, as it is more courteously called, intuitive not 
reasoning beings. 

The legend has this truth in it that, in deference 
to the wishes of our men-folk, we have made small 
use of our reason. . . . And,that being so, fine think- 
ing may not come easy to us. 

One of the essential differences between the at- 
titude of the Great State towards its women and the 



corresponding attitude of the Normal Social Life 
will be that the former will permit and encourage 
variety, where the other has insisted on uniformity 
of type. So far the atmosphere of the social organism 
has been favourable to the production of but two 
species of woman: the wife and mother, and her 
equivalent outside the law. Custom and education 
alike were strenuous and unceasing in their efforts to 
run all womanhood into the same mould, to make 
all womanhood conform to the same standard of 
domesticity and charm. (It is, by the way, really 
pitiful to think of the amount of energy wasted 
th ough the ages and still wasted by countless 
women in the vain endeavour to make themselves 
what Nature never intended them to be charming.) 
Any variation from the above type has usually 
been received with anything but a sympathetic wel- 
come; on the contrary, its customary greeting was 
a derisive hoot. Woman, in fact, until our own times 
has been judged, measured, and condemned by a 
prehistoric standard requiring of her uniformity of 
temperament, taste, and attainment, a standard 
which has not been applied to man since the days 
when the entire male population of the earth earned 
its meat by the only trade it knew the chase. It 
is a curious proof of persistent masculine failure to 
recognise in woman a humanity as complete as his 
own, this absolute refusal of man (while himself 
progressing along the lines of differentiation marked 
out for him by Nature, becoming agriculturist and 



townsman and a thousand things besides) to per- 
ceive in his partner and dependant any fitness or 
capacity save fitness and capacity for the two oc- 
cupations of sexual attraction and homekeeping. 
Had he ever realised that his partner and dependant 
was indeed as human and complete as himself, it 
would surely have been borne in upon him that 
nature and civilisation would work in her humanity 
after much the same fashion as they worked in his 
by the production of numerous variations from an 
original uniform type. Instead, therefore, of as- 
suming that all variations from the accepted idea 
of woman were unnatural, freakish, and out of place 
in the scheme of Nature, he would have realised that 
the really unnatural and abnormal feature about 
womanhood in general was its unfortunate lack of 
such variation, the artificially unhealthy uniform- 
ity of type produced by generations of economic 
pressure and restriction of opportunity. After all, it 
is only when the normal number of variations from 
the type are permitted to appear that you can say 
with certainty what the type really is and to what 
extent particular qualities are essentially charac- 
teristic of it. 

There are, it seems to me, good grounds for be- 
lieving that the common basis of human character 
is very much wider than has hitherto been supposed. 
Given the same influence and environment, the 
customary difference between the desires and be- 
haviour of the sexes lessens perceptibly, swiftly, 



and automatically, thereby often proving itself to 
be more customary than natural. Warfare, for 
instance, has seldom been looked upon as a feminine 
business; on the contrary woman has usually been 
shielded from contact with actual bloodshed. Yet, 
over and over again, when brought into contact 
with actual bloodshed woman has proved that such 
contact acts upon her in much the same fashion 
as it does upon man; that the hardships of a siege 
or the fury of hand-to-hand fighting produce in her 
symptoms of wrath, desperation, and hatred which 
are in no way essentially different from the cor- 
responding symptoms in her brethren. Again, it 
has been assumed that the power of combination 
for a common purpose is a characteristic essentially 
male; those who took the assumption for granted 
forgetting that it was the military tradition the 
need for standing together in the face of a common 
enemy that first taught combination to men. The 
political tradition was but the same lesson repeated 
in other terms a lesson for men only; and so was 
the male industrial system, the habit of working 
together in numbers. . . . Only on comparatively 
rare occasions in the history of the world has war- 
fare or political activity entered directly into the 
lives of women except in so far as they suffered or 
advantaged passively from the effects of both. 
While the home industries at which for centuries 
the great majority of women were accustomed to 
earn their keep, if little else brewing, baking, 



spinning, child-tending, domestic labour of every 
sort and kind were, in the very nature of things, 
isolated industries, carried on in separate house- 
holds on a small scale and without co-operation or 
combination. The home industry kept its workers 
apart; it did not bring cooks, housewives, nurses, 
and weavers together in their tens and their hundreds 
and unite them by the tie of a common interest in 
their common labour. It was not until many of 
these isolated industries began to dwindle and 
vanish with the general introduction of machinery 
and consequent reorganisation and centralisation of 
the means of production; not until the home ceased 
to be a self-supporting institution and became 
merely a place to dwell in, that women began to 
learn, outside the home, the lesson of combination 
they had never learned inside it. When the weaving 
trade, the spinning trade, the brewing trade, the 
pickling trade, and half a dozen others had re- 
moved themselves bodily from the kitchen or 
parlour to the factory, drawing after them inevi- 
tably the workers who depended on those trades 
for a living, then, practically for the first time, 
women were steadily and systematically thrown 
together in large numbers, with the tie of a common 
work between them, with similar aims and hard- 
ships, and similar causes of resentment. 

When we remember how very recent is the intro- 
duction of women to the organised collective life 
of the community, it seems remarkable that they 



have so quickly responded to its appeal and assimi- 
lated its influence. Collective labour outside the 
narrow confines of the home is already working 
upon them exactly as it has worked upon their 
brothers; informing them with the spirit and power 
of combination and a sense of class, as distinct from 
individual and family, need. The insistent and 
growing demand of women for a share in political 
power is the direct and inevitable result of the 
revolution in industrial conditions which has driven 
them out of the isolation of their homes to earn their 
bread and rub shoulders with others in the process. 
To take another instance of a human quality 
hitherto considered masculine: not the least in- 
teresting feature of the Woman Suffrage movement 
in England is the fact that the excitement of politi- 
cal struggle has produced in a certain type of healthy 
young woman exactly the effect which it often pro- 
duces in a similar type of healthy young man the 
excited mental condition which expresses itself in 
acts of rowdyism. I would not be understood to 
mean that all the women who, of late years, have 
taken part in what are known as militant suffrage 
demonstrations belong to the rowdy type; on the 
contrary, I should say that the proportion was small 
indeed compared with the numbers of those who are 
actuated by a sense of duty, self-sacrifice, and 
loyalty. But no one who has mingled observantly 
with the demonstrators can doubt that the rowdy 
type amongst women exists the girl who, like her 



brother, is at the same time thrilled and amused by 
the idea of actual conflict and whose high spirits find 
natural vent in noise and vehement action, usually 
destructive. I see no reason why the fact should be 
denied : first, because it is a fact ; secondly, because 
it does not seem to me a fact to be greatly ashamed 
of. A touch of rowdyism has always been taken for 
granted in the youthful human male; the militant 
suffrage movement has shown us that we must hence- 
forth take it for granted in the youthful human 
female and thereby demonstrated that a character- 
istic hitherto deemed the peculiar property of the 
male was only awaiting an opportunity to reveal 
itself as the common possession of both sexes. 

If I am right in supposing that the present un- 
doubted superiority of man over woman is less a 
sex than a class superiority, and that the essential 
differences between naturally developed man and 
naturally developed woman are fewer than is com- 
monly supposed, it follows that those legislative 
enactments in the State of the future which affect 
women as a class apart will be comparatively few 
in number. Motherhood, of course, will always 
place a woman in a class apart for a certain length 
of time, a class demanding special provision and 
undertaking special responsibilities. But in deal- 
ing with women in general the State of the future 
will be mindful of the fact that it is dealing with a 
class whose interests are varied and multiple; it 
will not assume that all the members of that class 



are or ought to be in a perpetual condition of preg- 
nancy, and try to regulate their existence accordingly. 

It is, of course, one thing to give freedom; it is 
quite another to induce the recipients of freedom 
to make use of it. I believe that the conscience of 
Society will insist in the very near future that 
woman shall be granted every opportunity of prov- 
ing herself the equal of her brother in fact as well 
as in name; it will rest with herself, therefore, 
whether she takes full advantage of such opportunity. 
The real difficulty in her way, I take it, will be at 
first the weakness and instability of purpose com- 
mon to every class that has been accustomed to 
exist without personal responsibility and need for 
independent thinking. It is because they have 
been composed of such a class that newly enfran- 
chised democracies have so often proved lacking in 
intelligent capacity for self-government. They have 
failed because they were stupid; because the en- 
lightened democracy has so far scarcely existed 
outside an election address. 

As I have pointed out, no other section of the com- 
munity has been encouraged to be stupid to the same 
extent as women. No influence could have been 
better calculated to weaken moral fibre in a human 
being than the long-accepted tradition accepted 
even by herself that woman apart from man was 
a creature half alive; that, as the cant phrase goes, 
she was "incomplete." You cannot expect inde- 
pendence of judgment and sense of responsibility 



from a being to whom you deny the elementary right 
and fact of separate, independent existence. 

Women, one imagines, wi:l attain to liberty of 
thought and action in much the same way as other 
subjugated classes have attained and are attaining 
it by degrees more or less slow, and after passing 
through what seems to be the inevitable process of 
revolting against one tyranny only to put another 
in its place. In those long habituated to submission 
and control the habit of dependence is, as a rule, too 
deeply rooted to be swept away by the first uprush 
of the desire for freedom; and, having overthrown 
one idol, decrepit and despised, they are as apt as not 
to set a new one in its place one rigid dogma for 
another, a new narrow loyalty in place of an old 
blind one, a sovereign people in place of a sovereign 
lord. . . . Watching the process of seemingly retro- 
grade stumbling, the hearts of many who desired 
freedom for others as well as for themselves have 
grown sick even to despair of their ideal. A despair 
not justified, save in the case of those who have never 
revolted at all. For the habit of revolt against in- 
justice grows, like other habits, by the exercise 
thereof; so that those who have overthrown one 
despotism, material or spiritual, will, in the end, 
remember a precedent and turn on the oppressor 
themselves have set up in its stead. It is the first 
forward step, the precedent for revolt, in a subject 
class that counts; since what has been done before 
can always be done again. 


I AM not a Socialist, as I understand that word, nor 
can I pretend to have worked out those complex esti- 
mates of economic possibility which are needed before 
one can indorse the hopeful forecasts of Lady Warwick, 
Mr. Money, and Mr. Wells. What I propose to do 
here is first to discuss what effect plutocracy, such as 
it is to-day, has had of late, and is likely to have in 
the near future, upon one of the things which I should 
like to imagine continuing upon our planet namely, 
art. And then briefly to prognosticate its chances 
under such a regime as my colleagues have sketched. 

As I understand it, art is one of the chief organs of 
what, for want of a better word, I must call the 
spiritual life. It both stimulates and controls those 
indefinable overtones of the material life of man 
which all of us at moments feel to have a quality 
of permanence and reality that does not belong to 
the rest of our experience. Nature demands with 
no uncertain voice that the physical needs of the 
body shall be satisfied first ; but we feel that our real 
human life only begins at the point where that is 
accomplished, that the man who works at some 



uncreative and uncongenial toil merely to earn 
enough food to enable him to continue to work has 
not, properly speaking, a human life at all. 

It is the argument of commercialism, as it once 
was of aristocracy, that the accumulation of surplus 
wealth in a few hands enables this spiritual life to 
maintain its existence, that no really valuable or 
useless work (for from this point of view only useless 
work has value) could exist in the community with- 
out such accumulations of wealth. The argument 
has been employed for the disinterested work of 
scientific research. A doctor of naturally liberal 
and generous impulses told me that he was becoming 
a reactionary simply because he feared that public 
bodies would never give the money necessary for 
research with anything like the same generosity as 
is now shown by the great plutocrats. But Sir Ray 
Lankester does not find that generosity sufficient, 
and is prepared at least to consider a State more 

The situation as regards art and as regards the 
disinterested love of truth is so similar that we 
might expect this argument in favour of a plutocratic 
social order to hold equally well for both art and 
science, and that the artist would be a fervent 
upholder of the present system. As a matter of 
fact, the more representative artists have rarely been 
such, and not a few, though working their life long 
for the plutocracy, have been vehement Socialists. 

Despairing of the conditions due to modern com- 


mercialism, it is not unnatural that lovers of beauty 
should look back with nostalgia to the age when 
society was controlled by a landed aristocracy. I 
believe, however, that from the point of view of the 
encouragement of great creative art there is not much 
difference between an aristocracy and a plutocracy. 
The aristocrat usually had taste, the plutocrat fre- 
quently has not. Now taste is of two kinds, the first 
consisting in the negative avoidance of all that is ill- 
considered and discordant, the other positive and a 
by-product ; it is that harmony which always results 
from the expression of intense and disinterested 
emotion. The aristocrat, by means of his good taste 
of the negative kind, was able to come to terms with 
the artist; the plutocrat has not. But both alike 
desire to buy something which is incommensurate 
with money. Both want art to be a background to 
their radiant self-consciousness. They want to buy 
beauty as they want to buy love; and the painter, 
picture-dealer, and the pander try perennially to per- 
suade them that it is possible. But living beauty 
cannot be bought ; it must be won. I have said that 
the aristocrat, by his taste, by his feeling for the acci- 
dentals of beauty, did manage to get on to some 
kind of terms with the artist. Hence the art of the 
eighteenth century, an art that is prone before the 
distinguished patron, subtly and deliciously flatter- 
ing and yet always fine. In contrast to that the art 
of the nineteenth century is coarse, turbulent, clumsy. 
It marks the beginning of a revolt. The artist just 
17 253 


managed to let himself be coaxed and cajoled by the 
aristocrat, but when the aristocratic was succeeded by 
the plutocratic patron with less conciliatory manners 
and no taste, the artist rebelled; and the history of 
art in the nineteenth century is the history of a band 
of heroic Ishmaelites, with no secure place in the 
social system, with nothing to support them in the 
unequal struggle but a dim sense of a new idea, the 
idea of the freedom of art from all trammels and 

The place that the artists left vacant at the plu- 
tocrat's table had to be filled, and it was filled by a 
race new in the history of the world, a race for whom 
no name has yet been found, a race of pseudo- 
artists. As the prostitute professes to sell love, so 
these gentlemen professed to sell beauty, and they 
and their patrons rollicked good-humouredly through 
the Victorian era. . They adopted the name and some- 
thing of the manner of artists; they intercepted 
not only the money, but the titles and fame and 
glory which were intended for those whom they had 
supplanted. But, while they were yet feasting, there 
came an event which seemed at the time of no im- 
portance, but which was destined to change ulti- 
mately the face of things, the exhibition of ancient 
art at Manchester in 1857. And with this came 
Ruskin's address on the Political Economy of Art, a 
work which surprises by its prophetic foresight when 
we read it half a century later. These two things 
were the Mene Tekel of the orgy of Victorian Phil- 



istinism. The plutocrat saw through the decep- 
tion; it was not beauty the pseudo-artist sold him, 
any more than it was love which the prostitute gave. 
He turned from it in disgust and decided that the 
only beauty he could buy was the dead beauty of 
the past. Thereupon set in the worship of patine 
and the age of forgery and the detection of forgery. 
I once remarked to a rich man that a statue by Ro- 
din might be worthy even of his collection. He re- 
plied, "Show me a Rodin with the patine of the 
fifteenth century, and I will buy it." 

Patine, then, the adventitious material beauty 
which age alone can give, has come to be the object 
of a reverence greater than that devoted to the idea 
which is enshrined within the work of art. People 
are right to admire patine. Nothing is more beau- 
tiful than gilded bronze of which time has taken 
toll until it is nothing but a faded shimmering 
splendour over depths of inscrutable gloom; noth- 
ing finer than the dull glow which Pentelic marble 
has gathered from past centuries of sunlight and 
warm Mediterranean breezes. Patine is good, but 
it is a surface charm added to the essential beauty 
of expression; its beauty is literally skin-deep. It 
can never come into being or exist in or for itself; 
no patine can make a bad work good, or the forgers 
would be justified. It is an adjectival and ancillary 
beauty scarcely worthy of our prolonged contem- 

There is to the philosopher something pathetic 


in the Plutocrat's worship of patine. It is, as it were, 
a compensation for his own want of it. On himself 
all the rough thumb and chisel marks of his maker 
and he is self-made stand as yet unpolished and 
raw; but his furniture, at least, shall have the dis- 
tinction of age-long acquaintance with good manners. 

But the net result of all this is that the artist has 
nothing to hope from the Plutocrat. To him we 
must be grateful indeed for that brusque disillusion- 
ment of the real artist, the real artist who might 
have rubbed along uneasily for yet another century 
with his predecessor, the aristocrat. Let us be 
grateful to him for this; but we need not look to 
him for further benefits, and if we decide to keep 
him the artist must be content to be paid after he 
is dead and vicariously in the person of an art- 
dealer. The artist must be content to look on while 
sums are given for dead beauty, the tenth part of 
which, properly directed, would irrigate whole nations 
and stimulate once more the production of vital 
artistic expression. 

I would not wish to appear to blame the plutocrat. 
He has often honestly done his best for art; the 
trouble is not of his making more than of the art- 
ist's, and the misunderstanding between art and com- 
merce is bound to be complete. The artist, however 
mean and avaricious he may appear, knows that he 
cannot really sell himself for money any more than 
the philosopher or the scientific investigator can sell 
himself for money. He takes money in the hope 



that he may secure the opportunity for the free func- 
tioning of his creative power. If the patron could 
give him that instead of money he would bless him ; 
but he cannot, and so he tries to get him to work not 
quite freely for money; and in revenge the artist 
indulges in all manner of insolences, even perhaps in 
sharp practices, which make the patron feel, with 
some justification, that he is the victim of ingrati- 
tude and wanton caprice. It is impossible that the 
artist should work for the plutocrat; he must work 
for himself, because it is only by so doing that he 
can perform the function for which he exists; it is 
only by working for himself that he can work for 

If, then, the particular kind of accumulation of 
surplus wealth which we call plutocracy has failed, 
as surely it has signally failed, to stimulate the 
creative power of the imagination, what disposition 
of wealth might be conceived that would succeed 
better? First of all, a greater distribution of 
wealth, with a lower standard of ostentation, would, 
I think, do a great deal to improve things without 
any great change in other conditions. It is not 
enough known that the patronage which really 
counts to-day is exercised by quite small and hum- 
ble people. These people with a few hundreds a 
year exercise a genuine patronage by buying pictures 
at ten, twenty, or occasionally thirty pounds, with 
real insight and understanding, thereby enabling the 
young Ishmaelite to live and function from the age 



of twenty to thirty or so, when perhaps he becomes 
known to richer buyers, those experienced spenders 
of money who are always more cautious, more 
anxious to buy an investment than a picture. These 
poor, intelligent first patrons to whom I allude be- 
long mainly to the professional classes; they have 
none of the pretensions of the plutocrat and none 
of his ambitions. The work of art is not for them, 
as for him, a decorative backcloth to his stage, but 
an idol and an inspiration. Merely to increase the 
number and potency of these people would already 
accomplish much; and this is to be noticed, that if 
wealth were more evenly distributed, if no one had 
a great deal of wealth, those who really cared for art 
would become the sole patrons, since for all it would 
be an appreciable sacrifice, and for none an impossi- 
bility. The man who only buys pictures when he 
has as many motor-cars as he can conceivably want 
would drop out as a patron altogether. 

But even this would only foster the minor and pri- 
vate arts; and what the history of art definitely 
elucidates is that the greatest art has always been 
communal, the expression in highly individualised 
ways, no doubt of common aspirations and ideals. 

Let us suppose, then, that society were so arranged 
that considerable surplus wealth lay in the hands 
of public bodies, both national and local ; can we have 
any reasonable hope that they would show more 
skill in carrying out the delicate task of stimulating 
and using the creative power of the artist? 



The immediate prospect is certainly not en- 
couraging. Nothing, for instance, is more deplorable 
than to watch the patronage of our provincial 
museums. The gentlemen who administer these 
public funds naturally have not realised so acutely 
as private buyers the lesson so admirably taught at 
Christie's, that pseudo or Royal-Academic art is a 
bad investment. Nor is it better if we turn to 
national patronage. In Great Britain, at least, we 
cannot get a postage stamp or a penny even respec- 
tably designed, much less a public monument. In- 
deed, the tradition that all public British art shall 
be crassly mediocre and inexpressive is so firmly 
rooted that it seems to have almost the prestige of 
constitutional precedent. Nor will any one who has 
watched a committee commissioning a presentation 
portrait, or even buying an old master, be in danger 
of taking too optimistic a view. With rare and 
shining exceptions, committees seem to be at the 
mercy of the lowest common denominator of their 
individual natures, which is dominated by fear of 
criticism; and fear and its attendant, compromise, 
are bad masters of the arts. 

Speaking recently at Liverpool, Mr. Bernard 
Shaw placed the present situation as regards public 
art in its true light. He declared that the corrup- 
tion of taste and the emotional insincerity of the 
mass of the people had gone so far that any picture 
which pleased more than ten per cent, of the popu- 
lation should be immediately burned. . . . 



This, then, is the fundamental fact we have to 
face. And it is this that gives us pause when we 
try to construct any conceivable system of public 

For the modern artist puts the question of any 
socialistic or, indeed, of any completely ordered 
state in its acutest form. He demands as an es- 
sential to the proper use of his powers a freedom 
from restraint such as no other workman expects. 
He must work when he feels inclined; he cannot 
work to order. Hence his frequent quarrels with 
the burgher who knows he has to work when he is 
disinclined, and cannot conceive why the artist 
should not do likewise. The burgher watches the 
artist's wayward and apparently quite unmethodical 
activity, and envies his job. Now in any Socialistic 
State, if certain men are licensed to pursue the 
artistic calling, they are likely to be regarded by the 
other workers with some envy. There may be a 
competition for such soft jobs among those who are 
naturally work-shy, since it will be evident that the 
artist is not called to account in the same way as 
other workers. 

If we suppose, as seems not unlikely, in view of 
the immense numbers who become artists in our 
present social state, that there would be this com- 
petition for the artistic work of the community, 
what methods would be devised to select those re- 
quired to fill the coveted posts ? Frankly, the history 
of art in the nineteenth century makes us shudder 



at the results that would follow. One scarcely knows 
whether they would be worse if Bumble or the 
academy were judge. We only know that under any 
such conditions none of the artists whose work has 
ultimately counted in the spiritual development of 
the race would have been allowed to practise the 
coveted profession. 

There is in truth, as Ruskin pointed out in his 
Political Economy of Art, a gross and wanton waste 
under the present system. We have thousands of 
artists who are only so by accident and by name, on 
the one hand, and certainly many one cannot tell 
how many who have the special gift but have 
never had the peculiar opportunities which are to- 
day necessary to allow it to expand and function. 
But there is, what in an odd way consoles us, a blind 
chance that the gift and the opportunity may 
coincide; that Shelley and Browning may have a 
competence, and Cezanne a farm-house he could 
retire to. Bureaucratic Socialism would, it seems, 
take away even this blind chance that mankind may 
benefit by its least appreciable, most elusive treas- 
ures, and would carefully organise the complete sup- 
pression of original creative power; would organise 
into a universal and all-embracing tyranny the al- 
ready overweening and disastrous power of endowed 
official art. For we must face the fact that the 
average man has two qualities which would make 
the proper selection of the artist almost impossible. 
He has, first of all, a touching proclivity to awe-struck 



admiration of whatever is presented to him as noble 
by a constituted authority; and, secondly, a com- 
plete absence of any immediate reaction to a work 
of art until his judgment has thus been hypnotised 
by the voice of authority. Then, and not till then, 
he sees, or swears he sees, those adorable Emperor's 
clothes that he is always agape for. 

I am speaking, of course, of present conditions, of 
a populace whose emotional life has been drugged by 
the sugared poison of pseudo-art, a populace satu- 
rated with snobbishness, and regarding art chiefly for 
its value as a symbol of social distinctions. There 
have been times when such a system of public 
patronage as we are discussing might not have been 
altogether disastrous. Times when the guilds repre- 
sented more or less adequately the genuine artistic 
intelligence of the time; but the creation, first of all, 
of aristocratic art, and finally of pseudo-art, have 
brought it about that almost any officially organised 
system would at the present moment stereotype all 
the worst features of modern art. 

Now, in thus putting forward the extreme diffi- 
culties of any system of publicly controlled art, we 
are emphasising perhaps too much the idea of the 
artist as a creator of purely ideal and abstract works, 
as the medium of inspiration and the source of 
revelation. It is the artist as prophet and priest that 
we have been considering, the artist who is the 
articulate soul of mankind. Now in the present 
commercial State, at a time when such handiwork 



as is not admirably fitted to some purely utilitarian 
purpose has become inanely fatuous and grotesque, 
the artist in this sense has undoubtedly become of 
supreme importance as a protestant, as one who 
proclaims that art is a reasonable function, and one 
that proceeds by a nice adjustment of means to ends. 
But if we suppose a state in which all the ordinary 
objects of daily life our chairs and tables, our 
carpets and pottery expressed something of this 
reasonableness instead of a crazy and vapid fantasy, 
the artist as a pure creator might become, not indeed 
of less importance rather more but a less acute 
necessity to our general living than he is to-day. 
Something of the sanity and purposefulness of his 
attitude might conceivably become infused into the 
work of the ordinary craftsman, something, too, of 
his creative energy and delight in work. We must, 
therefore, turn for a moment from the abstractly 
creative artist to the applied arts and those who 
practise them. 

We are so far obliged to protect ourselves from the 
implications of modern life that without a special 
effort it is hard to conceive the enormous quantity 
of "art" that is annually produced and consumed. 
For the special purpose of realising it I take the pains 
to write the succeeding paragraphs in a railway 
refreshment-room, where I am actually looking at 
those terribly familiar but fortunately fleeting 
images which such places afford. And one must 
remember that public places of this kind merely 



reflect the average citizen's soul, as expressed in his 

The space my eye travels over is a small one, but 
I am appalled at the amount of "art" that it har- 
bours. The window towards which I look is filled 
in its lower part by stained glass; within a highly 
elaborate border, designed by some one who knew 
the conventions of thirteenth-century glass, is a pat- 
tern of yellow and purple vine leaves with bunches of 
grapes, and flitting about among these many small 
birds. In front is a lace curtain with patterns taken 
from at least four centuries and as many countries. 
On the walls, up to a height of four feet, is a covering 
of lincrusta walton stamped with a complicated pat- 
tern in two colours, with sham silver medallions. 
Above that a moulding but an inch wide, and yet 
creeping throughout its whole with a degenerate 
descendant of a Graeco-Roman carved guilloche pat- 
tern ; this has evidently been cut out of the wood by 
machine or stamped out of some composition its 
nature is so perfectly concealed that it is hard to say 
which. Above this is a wall-paper in which an effect 
of eighteenth-century satin brocade is imitated by 
shaded staining of the paper. Each of the little 
refreshment-tables has two cloths, one arranged 
symmetrically with the table, the other a highly 
ornate printed cotton arranged "artistically" in a 
diagonal position. In the centre of each table is a 
large pot in which every beautiful quality in the 
material and making of pots has been carefully ob- 



literated by methods each of which implies profound 
scientific knowledge and great inventive talent. 
Within each pot is a plant with large dark-green 
leaves, apparently made of india-rubber. This pain- 
ful catalogue makes up only a small part of the in- 
ventory of the "art" of the restaurant. If I were to 
go on to tell of the legs of the tables, of the electric- 
light fittings, of the chairs into the wooden seats of 
which some tremendous mechanical force has deeply 
impressed a large distorted anthemion if I were to 
tell of all these things, my reader and I might both 
begin to realise with painful acuteness something of 
the horrible toil involved in all this display. Dis- 
play is indeed the end and explanation of it all. Not 
one of these things has been made because the maker 
enjoyed the making; not one has been bought be- 
cause its contemplation would give any one any 
pleasure, but solely because each of these things is 
accepted as a symbol of a particular social status. I 
say their contemplation can give no one pleasure; 
they are there because their absence would be 
resented by the average man who regards a large 
amount of futile display as in some way inseparable 
from the conditions of that well-to-do life to which 
he belongs or aspires to belong. If everything were 
merely clean and serviceable he would proclaim the 
place bare and uncomfortable. 

The doctor who lines his waiting-room with bad 
photogravures and worse etchings is acting on 
exactly the same principle; in short, nearly all our 



"art" is made, bought, and sold merely for its value 
as an indication of social status. 

Now consider the case of those men whose life-work 
it is to stimulate this eczematous eruption of pattern 
on the surface of modern manufactures. They are 
by far the most numerous "artists" in the country. 
Each of them has not only learned to draw but has 
learned by sheer application to put forms together 
with a similitude of that coherence which creative 
impulse gives. Probably each of them has some- 
where within him something of that creative impulse 
which is the inspiration and delight of every savage 
and primitive craftsman : but in these manufacturer's 
designers the pressure of commercial life has crushed 
and atrophied that creative impulse completely. 
Their business is to produce, not expressive design, 
but dead patterns. They are compelled, therefore, to 
spend their lives behaving in an entirely idiotic and 
senseless manner, and that with the certainty that 
no one will ever get positive pleasure from the result ; 
for one may safely risk the statement that until I 
made the effort just now, no one of the thousands who 
use the refreshment-rooms ever really looked at the 

Now what effect would the development of the 
Great State which this book anticipates have upon 
all this? First, I suppose that the fact that every 
one had to work might produce a new reverence, 
especially in the governing body, for work, a new 
sense of disgust and horror at wasteful and purpose- 



less work. Mr. Money has written of waste of work; 
here in unwanted pseudo-art is another colossal 
waste. Add to this ideal of economy in work the 
presumption that the workers in every craft would 
be more thoroughly organised and would have a more 
decisive voice in the nature and quality of their pro- 
ductions. Under the present system of commercial- 
ism the one object, and the complete justification, of 
producing any article is, that it can be made either 
by its intrinsic value, or by the fictitious value put 
upon it by advertisement, to sell with a sufficient 
profit to the manufacturer. In any socialistic state, 
I imagine and to a large extent the Great State will 
be socialistic at least there would not be this same 
automatic justification for manufacture; people 
would not be induced artificially to buy what they 
did not want, and in this way a more genuine scale 
of values would be developed. Moreover, the work- 
man would be in a better position to say how things 
should be made. After years of a purely commer- 
cial standard, there is even now, in the average 
workman, left a certain bias in favour of sound and 
reasonable workmanship as opposed to the ingenious 
manufacture of fatuous and fraudulent objects; 
and, if we suppose the immediate pressure of sheer 
necessity to be removed, it is probable that the 
craftsman, acting through his guild organisations, 
would determine to some extent the methods of 
manufacture. Guilds might, indeed, regain some- 
thing of the political influence that gave us the Gothic 



cathedrals of the Middle Ages. It is quite probable 
that this guild influence would act as a check on 
some innovations in manufacture which, though 
bringing in a profit, are really disastrous to the 
community at large. Of such a nature are all the 
so-called improvements whereby decoration, the whole 
value of which consists in its expressive power, is 
multiplied indefinitely by machinery. When once 
the question of the desirability of any and every 
production came to be discussed, as it would be in 
the Great State, it would inevitably follow that some 
reasonable and scientific classifications would be 
undertaken with regard to machinery. That is to 
say, it would be considered in what process and to 
what degree machinery ought to replace handi- 
work, both from the point of view of the community 
as a whole and from that of the producer. So far 
as I know, this has never been undertaken even with 
regard to mere economy, no one having calculated 
with precision how far the longer life of certain 
hand-made articles does not more than compensate 
for increased cost of production. And I suppose 
that in the Great State other things besides mere 
economy would come into the calculation. The 
Great State will live, not hoard. 

It is probable that in many directions we should 
extend mechanical operations immensely, that such 
things as the actual construction of buildings, the 
mere laying and placing of the walls might become 
increasingly mechanical. Such methods, if con- 



fined to purely structural elements, are capable of 
beauty of a special kind, since they can express the 
ordered ideas of proportion, balance, and interval as 
conceived by the creative mind of the architect. 
But in process of time one might hope to see a sharp 
line of division between work of this kind and such 
purely expressive and non-utilitarian design as we 
call ornament ; and it would be felt clearly that into 
this field no mechanical device should intrude, that, 
while ornament might be dispensed with, it could 
never be imitated, since its only reason for being is 
that it conveys the vital expressive power of a human 
mind acting constantly and directly upon material 

Finally, I suppose that in the Great State we might 
hope to see such a considerable levelling of social 
conditions that the false values put upon art by 
its symbolising of social status would be largely 
destroyed and, the pressure of mere opinion being 
relieved, people would develop some more immedi- 
ate reaction to the work of art than they can at 
present achieve. 

Supposing, then, that under the Great State it 
was found impossible, at all events at first, to stimu- 
late and organise the abstract creative power of the 
pure artist, the balance might after all be in favour 
of the new order if the whole practice of applied art 
could once more become rational and purposeful. 
In a world where the objects of daily use and orna- 
ment were made with practical common sense, the 

18 269 


aesthetic sense would need far less to seek consolation 
and repose in works of pure art. 

Nevertheless, in the long run mankind will not 
allow this function, which is necessary to its spirit- 
ual life, to lapse entirely. I imagine, however, that 
it would be much safer to penalise rather than to 
stimulate such activity, and that simply in order to 
sift out those with a genuine passion from those who 
are merely attracted by the apparent ease of the pur- 
suit. I imagine that the artist would naturally turn 
to one of the applied arts as his means of livelihood ; 
and we should get the artist coming out of the 
bottega, as he did in fifteenth-century Florence. 
There are, moreover, innumerable crafts, even be- 
sides those that are definitely artistic, which, if 
pursued for short hours (Mr. Money has shown 
how short these hours might be), would leave 
a man free to pursue other callings in his lei- 

The majority of poets to-day are artists in this 
position. It is comparatively rare for any one to 
make of poetry his actual means of livelihood. 
Our poets are, first of all, clerks, critics, civil servants, 
or postmen. I very much doubt if it would be a 
serious loss to the community if the pure graphic 
artist were in the same position. That is to say, 
that all our pictures would be made by amateurs. 
It is quite possible to suppose that this would be not 
a loss, but a great gain. The painter's means of live- 
lihood would probably be some craft in which his 



artistic powers would be constantly occupied, though 
at a lower tension and in a humbler way. The Great 
State aims at human freedom; essentially, it is an 
organisation for leisure out of which art grows; 
it is only a purely bureaucratic Socialism that 
would attempt to control the aesthetic lives of 

So I conceive that those in whom the instinct for 
abstract creative art was strongest would find ample 
opportunities for its exercise, and that the tempta- 
tion to simulate this particular activity would be 
easily resisted by those who had no powerful inner 

In the Great State, moreover, and in any sane 
Socialism, there would be opportunity for a large 
amount of purely private buying and selling. Mr. 
Wells's Modern Utopia, for example, hypothecates 
a vast superstructure of private trading. A painter 
might sell his pictures to those who were engaged 
in more lucrative employment, though one supposes 
that with the much more equal distribution of wealth 
the sums available for this would be incomparably 
smaller than at present; a picture would not be 
a speculation, but a pleasure, and no one would 
become an artist in the hope of making a for- 

Ultimately, of course, when art had been purified 
of its present unreality by a prolonged contact 
with the crafts, society would gain a new confidence 
in its collective artistic judgment, and might even 



boldly assume the responsibility which at present it 
knows it is unable to face. It might choose its poets 
and painters and philosophers and deep investigators, 
and make of such men and women a new kind of 





IT is possible that some of the readers of this 
book of essays may find the ideas involved in the 
conception of the Great State altogether detached 
from the facts of contemporary life and present 
social construction. They may rather hastily as- 
sume that, however desirable and pleasurable these 
ideals may be, they are beyond the reach of human 
attainment, and not in the line of any possible 
social development. It will be the endeavour of the 
present writer to consider the connecting-links 
which, he believes, bind the ideal of the Great State 
into an intimate union with the facts of the social 
order (or disorder) of to-day and to-morrow. 

The use of the term "development" in the title 
of this essay may be expanded by an initial explana- 
tion. There will be no assumption here that a period 
of Transition will be followed by a time when the 
Great State can be said to have arrived as an ac- 
complished fact. The evidence before us seems to 



forbid any such distinction between a period of 
travelling and a moment of arrival. The serious 
social reformer is wise enough to hope that he will 
never arrive; he is optimistic enough to believe 
that there will always be something better beyond. 
He does not visualise himself as one of a party of 
excursionists who will be disembarked at the Mil- 
lennium, as it might be at the end of his favourite 
sea-side pier. The conception of continual travel- 
ling is innate in the ideal. 

The Great State will not be a spontaneous crea- 
tion or a sudden accomplishment. If it come at all, 
it will be by a development of the human affairs which 
make up the States of to-day. This essay will en- 
deavour to analyse these existing social phenomena, 
in order that it may be shown how, in the opinion 
of the present writer, they are already tending in 
the direction of the Great State, which is the ideal of 
the other essayists in this book. 



IT will be generally admitted that there is no static 
condition in social organisation. It is one of the 
chief virtues of human nature to be eternally dis- 
contented. The healthy mind is continually striv- 
ing for something which it does not possess. And 
this demand for change seems especially insistent 



at the present moment; the constructive statesman 
of the day is faced by a more or less coherent chorus 
of demands which will not be satisfied by any trivial 
reform. For the purposes of clarity, it will be con- 
venient to group these elements of discontent round 
three main points. 

There is, first, that chaotic manifestation of un- 
rest which the newspaper headlines very fitly name 
The Labour War the struggle between the wage- 
earners and the masters who buy their labour. The 
wage-earners are demanding a higher wage, shorter 
hours, and better conditions; in fact, they ask for 
a larger share of the good things of life. This is no 
new fact in history; it has been a very general hu- 
man demand all through, wherever masters and men 
have confronted each other. The new note in the 
situation is the fact that there are indications that 
the demand is now so united and insistent that the 
present system of industrial organisation cannot long 
continue to stand the strain. While the profits of 
capital become smaller and more precarious, the 
workers are continually demanding that their share 
of the profits shall be larger. We seem to be near- 
ing the point when it will no longer be possible to 
pay a dividend to shareholders and employers when 
the wages bill has been paid. Moreover, the workers 
are being impelled towards revolutionary thoughts 
and deed by the higher prices which are encroaching 
on their already scanty wages. It also seems ob- 
vious that, by continual strikes, the workers can in- 




sist on their case being dealt with first. In other 
words, whatever may have been, or whatever are 
the advantages of the present industrial system 
under the control of the capitalists, it is now on the 
point of breaking down, becoming impossible. 
Profit-making is its imperative end, and this is 
rapidly becoming more difficult to reach. 

But the Labour War is not merely between mas- 
ter and man. The capitalists are not only at war 
with their workmen; they are at equally deadly war 
with each other. The reformer can claim that he 
is trying to save them from destruction instead of 
trying to destroy them The smaller capitalists, 
the smaller wholesale and retail producers and dis- 
tributors are wearing each other out in a fierce war 
waged to get control of the market. Circling round 
these smaller men are the great financiers (for they 
are now men with the banker's mind, rather than 
experts in the intimate processes of their trades); 
these greater capitalists are gradually extinguishing 
the weaker members of their class; the small work- 
shop is being shut because it can no longer do its 
work as quickly and cheaply as the large factory. 
Even in distribution, the independent shopkeeper 
is being supplanted by the "multiple-shop" system, 
where often the retention of the individual name 
only covers the position of the commissioned agent 
of the combine which is working in the background. 

So this term "Labour War" really covers some- 
thing wider than the ghastly struggle of the manual 



labourers. It is a competition for the right to a 
tolerable living wage, fought out between all those 
human beings who are not in possession of sufficient 
capital to allow them to look over the battle-field 
as non-combatants that is to say, as persons pos- 
sessing a ''private income." There are compara- 
tively few capitalists, however, who are not also 
themselves engaged in the struggle, which, indeed, is 
the general basis of life in all the present great com- 

It seems clear that a further development of this 
struggle will bring about an impossible situation. 
To a believer in the advantages of the Great State, 
it is illuminating to observe that this Industrial 
War is crushing out that wasteful competition which 
the collectivist reformers have long condemned. 
The smaller men, even the smaller states, are being 
eliminated by the Pierpont Morgans, the Speyers, 
the Rockefellers, the Rothschilds, the Harrimans, the 
Beits. It begins to appear that one of these days, 
if the present process continues without a change 
of direction, we may get the Great State, indeed; 1 
but it will be under the autocratic control of the 
final survivors of this terrific industrial struggle. 
It is possible, by a happy chance, that these victors 
might be benevolent despots, who would provide 
for all their subjects a sufficiently generous living. 
But such a state as this would be incompatible with 
the possession of that individual liberty which is 

1 See Wells's When the Sleeper Wakes for an anticipation of this. 



one of the fundamental desires of the healthy and 
well-developed mind. It is, on the whole, only the 
cramped mind that can submit to domination or 
can look forward with pleasure to a plutocrat-ap- 
pointed bureaucracy, however benevolent. 

One turns from the discontents of the Labour War 
the distress of wage-earners and bankrupt masters 
to another huge mass of revolutionary ferment 
the Revolt of the Women. It is scarcely less widely 
spread than the revolt of labour; and its basis is not 
very different. Like the wage-earner, the woman 
is demanding a fuller share of the good things of 
life. In so far as she is a worker already, she is 
conscious that she is getting even a lower wage than 
the men who are working beside her. The great 
majority of the sweated workers are women. Again, 
take the case of the Civil Service as an example : the 
woman clerk gets a lower salary when she does the 
same amount of work as her male companion. That 
it is often the same amount of work has recently 
been illustrated by the fact that the British Postal 
Savings Bank Department has been put on a 
more economic basis by the substitution of women 
for male clerks. Presumably the same amount of 
work has to be done by these clerks the saving 
comes from the fact that the women are paid less 
than the men. 

But there is another element in the women's de- 
mands. Not only do they demand an equal wage 
for equal work; they are also claiming that they 



shall be allowed to share in the responsibility of the 
intelligent work of the world in the organisation 
of their community as politicians and voters, in 
the professions, in the arts. They ask that the 
sex barrier shall be removed from the door to these 
things: they ask that their success or failure shall, 
at least, be fairly tested: that the distinction of sex 
shall not be considered in the field of work. The 
merits of this demand are not in question for the 
moment; they are the subject of another of these 
essays. We have now merely to register this dis- 
content as one of the factors of the present situation. 

Beyond this demand for the removal of the sex 
barrier in affairs where, they claim, the distinction 
of sex has no place, women are also insistently 
asking for a wider freedom in that relation of lover 
and child-bearer wherein their distinctive sex at- 
tributes are concerned. In the relationship of mar- 
riage and parenthood, the women claim that they 
must be on an equality with men. This demand 
will be discussed later on in this essay. 

There is a third classification of present-day dis- 
content, which perhaps cuts through all the other 
classes of discontent; but it is such a definite thing, 
and a demand which is so bitterly threatening the 
present social structure, that it deserves tabulation 
by itself. It is that wide-spread desire, common 
to all classes except the very narrow ones which 
are in possession of ample means of living, that 
there shall be some fuller realisation of the enjoy- 



ment of life. Not only the wage-earners, but also 
the salaried men, the struggling professional classes, 
the smaller traders with their back to the wall 
against competitive stress all these are becoming 
conscious that there is no organic necessity in 
social structure why life should be a frantic driving 
for the supplying of mere physical needs. The 
thoughtful younger members of the middle class 
are especially getting impatient when they see all 
these possibilities of a generous and dignified career 
submerged in a chaotic muddle of social mismanage- 
ment and easily avoidable economic errors. They 
are thrown, side by side with the more cruelly 
crushed weekly wage-earners, into the pit of social 
anarchy; and they are coming to see that their 
salvation lies along the same road. And the 
root of this restless discontent is that desire for the 
sweeter things of life, the consciousness that it 
may be something more than ceaseless toil; it is 
that vague, impulsive longing to have time to feel 
"the wind on the heath" that Borrow's gipsy 
knew. The most insistent things of life the driving 
force behind revolutions are often most vague. 
Perhaps it can be expressed as the desire to pro- 
tect that individual freedom which is being crushed 
out by the present system of capitalist domination. 
The present social organisation does not seem able 
to offer any satisfaction to the three-noted cry of 
discontent which one has attempted to sum up 
briefly in the above passages. It is clear that a way 



out must be found. The ideal of the Great State, 
expressed in this volume, is one offer of a solution. 
Having seen the elements which are making towards 
the end of the present social organisation, one now 
proceeds to pick up those lines of existing develop- 
ments which make it possible and even, one sug- 
gests, inevitable that our social affairs should lead 
in the direction of this Great State. 



THE first thought that occurs when one considers 
the Great State is that such complex social machin- 
ery could only be worked by a highly educated peo- 
ple. It is almost as much beyond the intelligence 
of the present citizens as it would be beyond the 
intelligence of a bushman to administer a munic- 
ipal constitution. The vast stretches of country, 
both physical and intellectual, which would be con- 
trolled by the machinery of the Great State will need 
for their handling a knowledge of facts and a power 
of logical judgment which is certainly not possessed 
by the present electorate, or even by its statesmen 
and bureaucrats. 

It is not so much the good- will that is lacking in 
the average citizen of to-day; he is, take him all 
round, neither vicious nor anti-social. He is not a 
grasping person who desires to rob his fellow-men 



of everything that he can take. His desire for gain 
is usually a perfectly healthy and legitimate wish 
to have a full life; he is only made brutal in its 
pursuit because, under the laws of the present in- 
dustrial organisation, one must often be brutal or 
go under. It is not his instincts that are far wrong ; 
his chief fault is his ignorance. The average man 
of to-day is a light-hearted person who does not 
trouble to think out the whys and wherefores, or the 
precise method by which the largest amount of 
happiness and comfort can be obtained. He pre- 
fers to enjoy himself rather than to think. This 
is, perhaps, not altogether an unhealthy state of 

We shall not get much further in the perfecting 
of our social organisation until the normal citizen 
has been educated to think more quickly and more 
accurately. The wise community will consider 
that no sum is too high to spend on making the 
education of its citizens as full as possible. It is 
the basis of every other reform, it is the investment 
which pays higher interest than any other enter- 
prise. Just as a manufacturer knows that it pays 
to have the best machinery, so a wise statesmanship 
will maintain that it pays the Nation to have the 
finest human machinery. It is scarcely realised 
what an enormous waste in productive power is 
caused by inefficient and niggardly education. To 
send the children from the schools to work as we 
send them, imperfectly equipped, to-day, is little 



better than sending a man to dig with a wooden 
spade when we might give him an iron one. A 
highly educated citizen will be the basis of the 
Great State; for only from such material can come 
a sufficient volume of demand for intelligent reform, 
and only by the hands and brains of such people 
will it be possible to produce all that wealth which 
is necessary for a civilised life; at least, only by 
efficient workers will it be possible to get this work 
done without wearisome toil. 

This improvement in education has already made 
a definite advance during the last half-century; and 
it is probably the cause of the increasing insistence 
of the discontent analysed above. This advance 
is produced not merely by the formal school; it is 
being accomplished by our newspapers, by the vast 
supplies of books, by every instrument which tells 
the citizen something about the world in which he 
lives. It is useless for the conservative statesmen 
(whether Tory or Liberal) to try to resent great 
change if they allow the halfpenny paper and six- 
penny novel and the shilling classic to exist; and 
these agencies are already working for the Great 
State. That is the first development which one can 
claim to be going in the right direction. 

Closely linked with the extension of information, 
the widening of horizons, this improvement of men- 
tal education, goes the improvement of the physical 
health of the community, which again has only to 
continue to develop on lines already laid down. 

19 285 


For example, there is the plan of providing meals 
at the public elementary school. By that system 
two immediate ends will be attained : first, the chil- 
dren's food will be better in quality and in quantity, 
and there will be economy by the cooking on a large 
scale instead of the senseless waste of hundreds of 
repeated operations; secondly, the mothers will be 
relieved of an appreciable amount of their present 
serious overwork in the home. School meals will 
thus benefit the health of the mother as well as the 
health of her child. At first, perhaps, a charge will 
be made for this food; but when it is realised that 
healthy children are a State asset, and that the 
parents are the tax-payers, then it will soon be held 
ridiculous that they should, as parents, pay them- 
selves as citizens. It will not be worth the bother 
of book-keeping such a simple circulation of money. 
The preventive side of public-health adminis- 
tration will get unlimited funds when it is realised, 
as is rapidly happening that it costs less to prevent 
disease than to cure it. The recognition of this fact 
will mean the more energetic development of a 
whole group of reforms which are already on the 
statute-books of most civilised states. The sweeping- 
away of the slum areas has already been linked to 
the beginning of a system of municipal housing and 
town-planning; which, in its train, is bringing the 
possession of public land and the ousting of the 
private landlord. Again, considerations of public, 
health will be the utilitarian motive behind the 



probable development of municipal bakeries and 
municipal milk farms, which will be followed by 
the public town farm for the production of the vege- 
tables and fruits which will not stand carriage 
from a greater State farm. Instead of bearing the 
worry of inspecting private cow-sheds and pouncing 
on private milk for analysis, it will dawn on the 
most classical of Town Councillors that it would be 
better to have the whole process under their control 
from the beginning, with the added advantage of the 
larger profits or cheaper prices which will follow the 
larger-scale production. On all matters of this kind 
there will be a simple-minded, even if sincere, attempt 
to defeat the schemes by quoting the abstract 
philosophy of "private enterprise." But the major- 
ity of the people will see no advantage in defending 
abstractions if they have to risk an early death 
from contaminated milk and pay a higher price 
as the sequence of their philosophy. And it will be 
the same common-sense practice, rather than ab- 
stract reasoning, which will initiate most reforms 
of the collectivist kind we are now discussing. 

The department of curative medicine will decrease 
in importance as the preventive side succeeds in its 
work. For the sake of the whole people, even if 
no motives of pity intervened, an intelligent com- 
munity will continue to provide a fuller series of 
hospitals and convalescent homes. Of course, there 
will be no charge made on the individual patients. 
One would no more ask a fee for the opportunity 



to stop the spread of dangerous disease or the loss 
of a working member of the community, than one 
would demand a fee from a tiger if it called at an 
Indian village with the request that the headman 
would draw all its teeth. Besides, it is almost im- 
possible to trace the disease to its responsible source. 
Why charge A with the cost of curing his children 
of consumption when the infection came from B's 
children, who caught it from C's? Only those who 
have a morbid interest in private detective agencies 
could be bothered to work out the problem to its end. 
While the citizens are being trained to a higher 
standard of mental and physical fitness the machin- 
ery of the State will be developing; the process is 
coincident, partly cause and partly effect. The 
development towards the larger industrial organ- 
isations which are inherent in the Great State ideal 
has already begun. Alike on the employer's side, 
in the form of Companies and Trusts; and on the 
wage-earner's side, in the form of Trade-Unions and 
Federations; this process is working itself out be- 
fore our eyes. In the shape of the vast co-operative 
Societies, productive and distributing, we have a 
kind of cross between the two; which, however 
incomplete and undemonstrative, is still an admi- 
rable object-lesson in social machinery. The present 
tendency is for these organisms to grow greater 
every year. Although as yet the process remains 
based on the capitalist-wage-earner system, the 
machinery itself is not very different from the 



machinery which may conceivably be used in the 
Great State. It is, indeed, possible to conceive of 
the machinery of the embryo Great State being in a 
fairly complete condition, while the resulting wealth 
is still credited to the banking accounts of a group 
of capitalists. For example, if things went on as 
they are at present tending, the railways of England 
would soon be under the control of one central 
private Railway Board. The same tendency shows 
itself in many industries and distributing agencies: 
centralisation and a common control are becoming 
the normal state of affairs. For example, we read 
of Meat Trusts, Cotton-Thread Combines, Tobacco 
Trusts, Shipping Amalgamations. 

A very slight rearrangement of affairs might 
change this capitalist industrial machinery into 
Central Departments of a Great State. The es- 
sential change would be that the resulting wealth 
would no longer be allotted to the capitalist as such ; 
though it may well be that the Great State will 
continue to pay large salaries or commissions to the 
"captains of industry." But that is an open ques- 
tion: it will choose the method which gives the 
best results in the production of social wealth and 
human character. 

This attainment of economy in industrial proc- 
esses by large organisation must not by any means 
be accepted as an invariable rule, inherent without 
exception in the structure of such an ideal as the 
Great State. Economy of time and labour will 



only be sought by that method when the large or- 
ganisation does not encroach on the pleasure which 
the human mind (in many cases at least) takes in 
the more direct personal process which is con- 
veniently described as handicraft, as distinguished 
from machine production. If it so happens that 
the raising of the standard of education and the 
decrease of boisterous competition shall produce a 
majority of citizens approximating to the type of 
William Morris, then it is probable that there will 
be a general agreement to sacrifice a part of the time 
that might be economised by the machine, and re- 
turn to hand labour in some processes, if it gives 
a definite return in pleasure to the craftsman. 

But in all such departments as transit and dis- 
tribution, and in a large number of the industrial 
processes (such as the manufacture of raw material, 
the making of steel and leather, of uniform cloth 
and linen goods, and so on), the claims of the crafts- 
men will scarcely be advanced. The general point 
to note is that each question of this kind will be 
decided on its merit as it arises, on the principle 
that the methods of labour must give way to the 
rational desires of man, not man to an autocratic 
demand for cheap and rapid production. On the 
other hand, the human being of the future may 
decide that it is better to produce necessities as 
quickly as possible, and use the economised time 
in some manner which does not yet appeal to the 
present mind. The human mind is a subtle thing; 



it would be unwise to dogmatise as to what it will 
or will not want. The citizens of the Great State 
may crave every possible moment for work with 
the hands; or, again, for the contemplation of 
mysticism; or, still again, for the unpremeditated 
delights of sport and play. Who knows ? Why not 
some of every kind? 

There is one possible development of industrial 
organisation which must be just mentioned before 
leaving the subject, though it is impossible to am- 
plify it here, for it is a very debatable subject of 
which the facts are by no means yet clear. It is 
possible that the function of the State as an organiser 
of industry may take the form of sub-contracting 
work to trade-guilds which are, in fact, Trade-Unions 
of the trade concerned. Thus, it is possible that 
the State may get its railways built by a guild or 
Trade-Union of Railway Engineers; or a town may 
get its municipal houses constructed by a guild of 
builders; its concerts may be provided by a guild 
of musicians, and so on. It may be by some such 
method as this that the problem of the relations of 
the craftsman and artist to the State may be solved 
in certain trades. Under the shelter of a publicly 
recognised guild the craftsman may be able to 
protect himself from that public dominance which he 
dreads, not altogether without sound reason. But 
here the subject can only be dismissed by this hint 
of a possible solution. 

So far, we have been discussing possible develop- 


ments in the organisation of industrial machinery. 
As we have seen, this does not in itself settle the 
question of the distribution of the products. It is 
scarcely necessary to say that the Great State will 
not tolerate the present injustice of this distribu- 
tion. In a condition of society where all will have 
equal chances of education and opportunity, it is 
probable that the resulting work will be more equal 
than it is to-day; and there will certainly be a 
realisation that every citizen has an innate right 
to a minimum share of the social products, which 
will be handed over to him without excessive bar- 
gaining as to return duties. 

This development towards a communal minimum 
has already begun in England and most civilised 
states by the provision of such things as old-age 
pensions, free elementary education, free roads, free 
street lighting, free police service, public parks, and 
municipal bands to play therein. If roads are free, 
there is no possible argument against free railways; 
if the turnpike gate has been swept away, it is idle 
to think that the railway-ticket barrier will remain 
eternally sacred. In England free meals at the pub- 
lic schools have been already provided in urgent 
cases; the process is extending, and it seems almost 
inevitable that the provision of all meals for all 
children is only a matter of time. From that to 
the provision of clothes is a development of practice 
and not of principle. Again, the basis of a free 
communal medical service is already firmly laid 



down by our school inspection, medical officers of 
health, and public hospitals, even if all these de- 
partments are at present woefully inefficient. The 
Insurance Act recently adopted in Great Britain 
is not altogether communal; but the principle of 
a State subsidy to insure against sickness and un- 
employment has been thereby admitted, although 
the immediate result to the workers is probably no 
present advantage, and they would have been well 
advised in this case to wait a little longer for a 
completely communal system of general insurance. 
It is probable that this communal system may 
extend until it covers all the elementary necessities 
of life. It is probable that a full minimum of food, 
clothing, housing, and travel may, within a compara- 
tively short time, become the right of every member 
of the Great State. But it does not necessarily fol- 
low that Communism will carry us beyond this 
minimum. It is not an ideal which covers the 
whole case of the distribution of wealth. It must 
never be forgotten that the end of social organisa- 
tion is to give the greatest amount of freedom to 
the individual. We will not make out a case for 
the Great State unless we show that it will make 
the individual freer than he is under the Capitalist 
system. It will be an advantage to give the citizen 
as much as possible of his wages in the form of money 
which he can exchange as he pleases, rather than 
payments in kind, which he must take, to a certain 
extent, as it is offered by the State. At least, he 



must have a generous margin for his free use, over 
and above his expenses in bare necessities. So the 
problem of distribution of wealth will continue 
further than the solution by communism. Here 
again, the future development is already fore- 
shadowed by the existing custom. The graduated 
income tax, with its super-tax on all incomes above 
a determined figure, has already laid down a system 
by which the distribution of wealth can be manip- 
ulated in any manner that the community desires. 

It is by no means probable that even the most 
democratic Great State will insist on equality of 
income; those who look forward to this Great State 
are not necessarily in conflict with those who say 
that personal gain is the most powerful incentive to 
work. It will be quite possible, by the method of a 
graduated income tax, to pare down the excrescence 
of undue wealth and still leave its legitimate in- 
equalities. It will almost certainly be by the gradu- 
ated and super-income tax that wealth will be most 
fairly distributed during the transition period which 
we are now considering. The clumsy methods of tax- 
ing land values and liquor, tobacco and tea, will be 
dismissed as ineffective, as not taxing the super- 
rich, but, on the contrary, allowing them to escape 
in the confused complexity of the national budget. 

But the most radical way to distribute wealth 
in a fairer manner is, of course, to pay it out at 
the start in fairer wages and salaries. It will be 
recognised that if there is any departure from the 



line of crude equality, then the decision of what is 
fair will remain a problem of detail which will need 
continual readjustment and cannot be solved by 
any hard-and-fast principle. It is probable that it 
will work itself out on much the same lines that 
it is already being approached. There probably will 
be a statutory minimum wage; and the maximum 
will be won by some kind of bargaining between 
the State Departments and the organised workers 
in these trades; there will, in short, be trade-unions, 
as there are now. 

There is one other already urgent matter of social 
organisation which covers a vast field, and yet has not 
conveniently come under any c f the previous heads 
of structure of industry or the distribution of wealth 
or the promotion of the public health. In truth, 
it could be discussed under all these heads, but it 
will be clearer to give it a place by itself. One refers 
to the position of the Mother. Stated in cold 
economic terms, detached from all the true and false 
glamour that clusters round her, the Mother is, as 
such, a worker engaged in the industry of producing 
that most valuable of social wealth, children. The 
problem which arises is that under present condi- 
tions she is not paid that independent wage, secured 
by a contract, which is the legal distinction between 
the position of the free worker and the slave. The 
Mother, in all normal cases, has merely her main- 
tenance according to the standard of her husband's 
position, and in some cases an indeterminate sum, 



over and above, at her own disposal beyond house- 
keeping. This analogy with the position of a 
slave does not necessarily involve the statement 
that the mother is treated with cruelty or incon- 
sideration, in the ordinary sense of the words. But 
it does involve the statement that she is not an in- 
dependent unit in the social system. The same 
might be said, in a sense, of every worker in a 
factory or government office or a shop. But there 
is this radical distinction: however badly the 
ordinary worker be paid, she gets a definite wage for 
more or less definite hours of service; and this is 
the basis of an independent life, however insuffi- 
cient. Whereas the position of the mother is in- 
definite, and decided by sentiment, not contract. 

As it is an essential part of the problem of the 
Great State to find the method which will loosen 
the units of the community from unnecessary re- 
strictions on their individual freedom, it is, there- 
fore, logical that we should attempt to discover a 
method by which the largest class of workers, the 
mothers, should be given a just and substantial 
independence. And no amount of beautiful sen- 
timent will be a substitute for a definite wage en- 
forceable by law. The question follows: Who is to 
fix and pay that wage ? 

We are not concerned here with the sex relation- 
ship, except in so far as it results in a child, the only 
point where the community seems to have any right 
to interfere. A calm consideration of all the facts 



leads one to believe that the State as a whole is 
far more concerned in the production and control of 
children than either the father or the mother, and 
that it will be the State, not the father, which will 
in future pay the mother the wage due for the work 
she expends on the child. The endowment of 
motherhood (which has already become the usual 
term to denote this idea) will be, in brief, the pay- 
ment to the mother of a sufficient wage to support 
herself and her children during the period she de- 
votes to their birth and rearing, and any further 
period during which she is incapacitated by her 
previous specialisation in child-bearing. It will be 
sufficient to cover the necessary outgoing expenses, 
and, over and above this, provide a profit to her- 
self, at her own free disposal, just as her husband 
may have a profit over the expenses of his trade or 
profession. In short, it will give mothers a definite 
wage for a social service, on exactly the same grounds 
that any other work is rewarded. 

This system of payment for mothers (which may 
be established much sooner than many of us imagine) 
would be the longest step towards the collectivist 
community that the world yet has seen. It will 
be the more easily carried into practice by the fuller 
development of that system of collective house- 
keeping which has already begun, and is another 
development in the direction of the Great State. 
The large co-operative blocks or squares of dwell- 
ings, with common dining-rooms, libraries, play- 



rooms, nurseries, and kitchens, will revolutionise the 
position of the mother and, incidentally, tend to a 
freedom from excessive domestic work, a freedom 
which will do more than anything else to give women 
that place in the general work of the world which 
they are at present demanding. It is not good 
that an intelligent woman should give up her whole 
time to the care of a single house or of two or three 
children, who would be far better in the more varied 
society of a larger group, which could be more 
economically and efficiently tended by a professional 
nurse who chose that work by preference. All these 
developments, eventually, may lead to the disap- 
pearance of the family as a social unit. There will 
probably be no place in the larger-thinking Great 
State for the narrow autocracy of the father, con- 
trolling the individual rights of either the mother or 
the child. Such a unit will only hamper the individ- 
ual, without assisting in the wider work of the 

Here one must end this brief summary of the ele- 
ments of the present social organism which are 
tending in the direction of the Great State. 

These have been grouped, for convenience, under 
the four heads of educational and physical develop- 
ment ; the collective organisation of industry ; the dis- 
tribution of excessive wealth ; and the development of 
communal rights ; while the case of the public endow- 
ment of motherhood has been treated as a special 
example which illuminates the whole principle. The 



growth of internationalism might be added to the 
list. All these tendencies will, on analysis, be found 
to result from the common-sense fact that it is 
more satisfactory to accomplish the work of the 
world on the co-operative basis of organised effort 
than on the lines of anarchical impulse. It may 
be far more difficult to organise the former than 
to permit the latter; but the manifest possibilities 
of the former will continue to stimulate the human 
imagination until every difficulty is overcome. The 
organisation of that "collective mind" which will 
be the basis of the Great State needs an educated 
people a people who will work in unison with the 
next-door neighbours, the next parish, the next 
county, or the next nation, whenever there is any 
advantage to be gained by so doing. The vague, 
instinctive, childish antagonisms of class and race, 
and the sentimentalities that would veil the essential 
brutality, are giving way, generation by generation, 
before the more precise and larger-spirited thinking 
of the new time. 





AT last I came upon the Cathedral, as we must 
now call it, for every group of parishes has its bishop 
who is in more than name a "father in God" to his 
priests and people, and not, as too often in the past, 
a feeble person remotely overlording a vast area 
and following instead of forming public opinion, his 
mind a tangle of concessions and his days a round 
of trivialities. The people themselves are nowa- 
days consulted in the election of the clergy, a cus- 
tom which recalls the choice of Ambrose to the 

1 This paper takes the place of a projected essay upon Religion in 
relation to the Great State. The general editors of the book were 
unable to arrange for a comprehensive discussion of this important 
aspect of human life because they could find no writer at once in- 
terested and impartial; and the Rev. Conrad Noel has very obliging- 
ly, and under a considerable pressure of other work, sketched a 
Catholic ideal of religion in the Great State. Unlike our other 
contributors, he has not seen fit to adopt the form of a reasoned 
essay, but instead he has made an imaginative description of a 
visit to a cathedral in the year 2000 or so, the basis for his forecast 
of the future catholic teaching. It is his personal forecast, from 
his individual standpoint as a priest of the Church of England; but 
many will agree with his spirit who will not approve either of his 
doctrine or of his ornaments. 



Archbishopric of Milan by acclamation of men and 
women, and even little children, and replaces the 
intrigue and secrecy of the past. Many "Congre- 
gationalists " welcomed the change, and now exist 
within the Church as a guild, with particular methods 
and a standpoint of their own. But although there 
still remain certain small and independent coteries 
of the pious and perhaps not illogically, for their 
forefathers became separatists from the Unity of 
Christendom not so much in protest against the 
private patron as in championship of the private 
congregation, holding no brief for the common peo- 
ple, but only for the "people of God" modern sec- 
tarianism has lost point and vitality, for the people 
believe that the Church is an army for the quicken- 
ing and confirming of a Kingdom of Righteousness, 
and that through the comradeship of arms men and 
women attain a gracious and eternal personality. 

To the majority the idea of "free" and competing 
churches has therefore become meaningless, and is 
only upheld by the sects themselves on the assump- 
tion that Christ did not found a Fellowship, but a 
number of sky-seeking cliques or comfortable "homes 
of the spirit," which do business as drug stores and 
insurance companies for a restricted clientele. 

Within the Church itself, however, there exists a 
great variety of ideas and a greater variety of wor- 
ship. There are to be found within its organisation 
many companies whose members before the great 
changes had been dissenters; each has its shrine or 



oratory, and emphasises some one or other aspect of 
truth, but without breaking away in thought or 
emotion (heresy) or in organisation (schism) from 
the bond and proportion of the Catholic Religion. 
In the Cathedral, for instance, there is an oratory 
dedicated to Wisdom, containing a library of books, 
where people come for study and contemplation; no 
public service is held here, but it is the favourite 
meeting-place for a Guild of the Friends, who use it 
for purposes of silent adoration. 

The common worship of the Church is elaborate, 
for it is the people's tribute to the Supreme Ritualist 
who is making a rich and complex and visible world 
with its pageantry of days and nights, and of the 
varying seasons. But to many of the guilds the 
ceremonial worship makes no special appeal. They 
are present at it as an act of Fellowship from time 
to time, but find their particular satisfaction in 
simpler exercises of the spirit, in which, indeed, the 
whole people frequently join. 

As to the position and temporalities of the Church, 
a controversy is raging. I hear that only last week 
a passionate appeal against Establishment was made 
from the pulpit of the Cathedral by one of the 
younger canons. The Church had been disestab- 
lished, and to some extent disendowed for many 
years, and at the present time the churches are 
maintained and the Clergy supported in different 
ways. In some parishes the priests work "pro- 
ductively" for an hour or so every day, giving their 



ministry freely. In others they are supported by 
a voluntary levy. In others again some small en- 
dowment exists. Now, a great number of people, 
including some of the most lively and public-spirited, 
are in favour of complete establishment and uni- 
form State endowment; but the preacher of last 
week, who voiced a vigorous minority, had pas- 
sionately warned the people against the proposed 
official union. The price of just government was 
alert criticism and eternal vigilance, and this criti- 
cism had hitherto been encouraged by a vigorously 
independent Church. I have no notion how this 
particular controversy will be settled, but it seems 
possible for people to hold opposite convictions on 
the subject of temporalities, and, indeed, on many 
others, without breaking the bond of Christendom. 
The Cathedral Church of All Saints was the old 
Tudor structure of my childhood, but where was the 
Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings? 
For there had been added a new Chapel towards the 
east, a Council-room to the north, and I noticed 
innumerable other alterations, each showing de- 
cision and individuality. These acts of "Vandal- 
ism" are defended by the present architects, who 
point to the audacities of style in successive periods 
of the Middle Ages, a daring clash of individualities 
and a supreme harmony. It was as if a Great Peo- 
ple, in regaining some secret spring of life, had 
fulfilled the Unities by becoming as unconscious of 
them as an athlete is unconscious of a good digestion. 



The old niches had their saints restored to them, 
and many new shrines were peopled with a strange 
medley of figures: St. Catharine of Siena, and her 
namesake of Egypt; the Blessed Thomas More and 
John Ball, of St. Albans; St. Joan of Arc; the 
Blessed John Damien, and hundreds more, many of 
them unknown to me, but likely enough images of 
martyrs who had fallen in some recent struggle 
artists, artisans, poets, priests, and statesmen. The 
inclusion among these shrines of pre-Christian and 
non-Christian heroes seemed to me extraordinary, 
but the principle of this People is to accent the 
vitalities of tradition and let the rest go; I was 
reminded that one of their greatest theologians, 
St. Thomas Aquinas, had woven Aristotle into the 
Catholic fabric, and that St. Augustine had claimed 
Plato as a Christian, and that the Catholic Church 
had baptised images, temples, ceremonial, gods and 
goddesses, into Christ, laying the whole world under 
contribution in the building of an Universal Faith, 
and adoring an everywhere present God from whom 
all good things do come. Even the very Christmas- 
trees, with their gleaming tapers and gaudy colours, 
which decorated the aisles, reminded one that the 
peculiarly Christian Feast of December was pagan 
in origin. Inclusiveness with them springs from 
no mere toleration born of indifference; but from 
an adoration of that one Spirit who has not left 
Himself without witness in any corner of the earth. 
They borrow freely and absorb into their own re- 



ligion elements the most distant and varying; and 
the more they borrow, the more unique does this 
religion become. 

The old gargoyles remain untouched, and new 
monstrosities leer down upon the passers-by. Among 
them are the faces of pharisees and sweaters of a 
past regime. So vividly do certain encrustations 
of the structure record the struggles of a darker 
century that they seem like some furious battle 
suddenly arrested and turned to stone. 

The principal porch was draped in deep - rose 
velvet girdled with golden cords, and against the 
rosy background stood dark branches of the yew 
in wooden tubs. On entering the carved doors, I 
was at once impressed with a sense of warmth and 
incense and worship. One could not imagine such 
a building deserted; it must always have its groups 
of devotees ; it was surely the temple of a perpetual 

Everywhere were chapels and pictures and shrines, 
gay with flowers and glittering tapers pointing like 
spears towards the vast roof. Fixed by small black 
chains to the benches and the base of some of the 
images were prayers framed in carved wood with 
wooden handles. In one such frame was shrined 
the saying : "I give nothing as duties. What others 
give as duties, I give as living impulses. Shall I 
give the heart's action as a duty?" 

Many are attracted to the Chapel of "Our Lord 
of Health." Round its walls are pictured scenes 



of healing from the Gospels and the lives of the 
saints, and from the Annals of "secular" medicine. 
Crutches and other memorials of past feebleness 
adorned its pillars as trophies of divine healing. A 
guild for the preservation and spread of health meets 
here, and its members include doctors and nurses 
and healers of every kind. 

The Chapel of Santa Claus is the largest in the 
building, and belongs entirely to the children, who 
have this Christmas-tide decorated it with artificial 
flowers made by themselves and with sprigs of 
holly and laurel. The altar was hidden behind a 
Bethlehem crib roofed with yellow thatch and 
lighted with a hundred candles. Here is held the 
daily service of the Catechism, the children choosing 
their monitors, and even having some say in ar- 
ranging the details of their worship. They are en- 
couraged to think for themselves, and as much 
praise is given for a question well put as for a ques- 
tion well answered. 

In my wanderings about the Cathedral I came 
upon a certain oratory with many kneeling figures 
rapt in prayer, penitents awaiting their turn to 
make confession; for the new People is intensely 
practical, and their religion is not merely an affair 
between the private soul and the private God, but 
between the individual and a God-penetrated So- 
ciety and its minister. They believe that Man 
has not only power on earth to commit sin, but 
power on earth to forgive sin, and they glorify God 



Who has ' ' given such power unto men. ' ' They think 
in terms of fellowship : goodness is that which helps ; 
evil is that which injures the community. The most 
secret vice by decreasing or deflecting the energies 
of service is a sin against the whole family of God, 
and requires the forgiveness not only of God, but 
of man. In an anti-social age everything from re- 
ligion to business had become distorted, neurotic, 
excessively introspective, but now the sacraments 
were again the witnesses and effectual signs of social 
grace. The people generally has regained a robust 
conscience, genuinely sorry for its stupidities, its 
cruelties, and its egomanias; but ready to make a 
clean breast of them and shake them off. Religion 
nowadays is more deeply rooted in the eternal 
realities of human nature than ever before, and has 
inspired people with the paradox of humility and 
audacity which one sees in adventurous lovers and 
all who drink deep of the fountains of life. They feel 
the things eternal underlying the things temporal, 
and are in close converse not with a Jesus and Saints 
of a dead past, but with a Jesus and Saints who, by 
their heroic struggle as recorded in the past, have 
won to that heaven which is close at hand. Far 
from denying a future beyond death, they hope for 
it, and already by their friendship with those who 
have passed through its gate live in "the rapture 
of the forward view. ' ' They laugh good-humouredly 
at the sick people of the twentieth century who 
blamed the Church of their day for not lusting for 



life, and themselves were so little in love with it 
that they rejoiced at the prospect of annihilation. 
But when convalescence came, there came back 
with it the lust of everlasting life. To work for 
the good of the race is excellent enough, but the 
work will gain in vigour and enthusiasm when it is 
no longer the service of a race of summer flies who 
are to perish in a few moments, but devotion to en- 
during human beings with the infinite possibilities 
of infinite worlds. 

Had this People developed a new ethical sense, 
or to what extent are they merely reverting to an 
earlier standpoint for a time engulfed in the abysses 
of Christo-Commercialism ? Two or three things 
stand out clearly: they worship no barren and ab- 
stract deity called Morality ; morality was made for 
man, not man for morality. They love and worship 
people, and not principles; their religion is the in- 
timacy and fellowship of friends; their casuistry 
springs from the fount of worship. 

Their teaching of the children is firm and simple, 
and meets with swift response, for it rings true to 
some natural grace in childhood, which is always 
present in some degree or other, however deflected 
or overlaid or intermixed with alien elements. It 
was through my presence at the daily "Catechism" 
that I began to see that they are convinced of the 
fundamental soundness of human nature and of 
the divinity of every human birth. Centuries back 
this conviction had been acknowledged as an es- 



sential doctrine of the Christian Church, after the 
long battle between Apollinarius and S. S. Hilary 
and Athanasius. And for all this, they do not 
minimise the distortions of mind and soul. Evil and 
grace are both acknowledged, but the generosities 
of grace are suggested as natural to man, and evil 
is regarded as the inhuman interloper. This is well 
illustrated in their use of the word "lust," which has 
recovered its original significance of the natural 
bodily desires, hunger, thirst, sex attraction, energy, 
rest, recreation. Lusts are dark and distorted only 
when uncontrolled and indulged to the injury of the 
community or the self; hunger becomes gluttony; 
thirst becomes drunkenness, and physical desire un- 
chastity. In this connection they tell the old story 
of the shipwrecked swimmer encumbered by his sack 
of gold, asking if the drowning man owned the gold 
or the gold owned him. The Church rejects the 
doctrine which would treat the gold, or the hunger, 
or the sex need as inherently evil, and children are 
thus taught to distinguish between the use and abuse 
of those natural desires which are, in fact, believed 
to have in them some positive element of goodness. 
The physical appetites are likened to high-spirited 
horses, valued for their very lustiness: the business 
of the driver is not to destroy, but to control them, 
and this is also the business of life's charioteers. 
The Church has thus reverted to and is now develop- 
ing a healthy and more adventurous element in its 
tradition. Complete suppression of some one or 



other desire is counselled in exceptional cases, and 
such a policy is illustrated from the anti- Oriental 
standpoint of the New Testament. 1 This essential 
but exceptional abstinence is believed to have its 
attendant danger, because the converted sensualist 
may invite into the temple of his soul seven other 
demons more deadly than the first, for drink has 
slain its thousands, but pharisaism its tens of 
thousands. The puritan convert too often devoted 
the remainder of a maimed 2 life to preaching the 
gospel of dismemberment among the sound and 
healthy. The leader in so un-catholic a crusade 
should surely have been the fox of the fable who, 
wisely exchanging a tail for a life, is forever counsel- 
ling total abstinence from tails as the duty of all 
members of his magnificent species. The present 
casuistry does not discount the discipline of pain; 
but no road is either to be chosen or avoided for 
its painfulness, the way of the cross being sacred, 
not because of its difficulties, but because of its pur- 
pose. Neither pain nor pleasure is regarded as an 
end in itself, and it is pointed out that the Christ 
said of Himself not, I am come that they might have 
pleasure, nor, I am come that they might have pain, 
but "I am come that they might have life." They 
often quote the story of the artist whose soul's de- 
sire was to paint a joyous picture and bequeath it 
to posterity. But he lived in a Calvinist city, and 
the government threatened him with crucifixion if 
1 Matthew v: 30. 2 Mark ix: 43. 



he dared to paint it. If there be any other way out, 
the artist will take it, and he cries : " If it be possible 
let this cup pass from me"; but he cannot play 
the traitor to that joy within him, which he is to 
scatter among men, and for its sake he is content to 
go the way of the cross; and the blood of the martyr 
becomes the seed of the Church. 

Deliberate effort towards fulness of life is counted 
praiseworthy and necessary, for the convalescent 
must take his exercise, however painful and ungainly 
the effort may be, though this very ungainliness 
should remind him that he is still in some measure 
under the dominion of disease. When eventually 
the convalescent soul by conscious effort has regained 
health, actions spring spontaneously from a rich and 
genial human nature, and he understands the mean- 
ing of the light burden and the easy yoke. 

This naturalness and spontaneity they see in the 
saviours of men, but everything they think and feel 
about the saviours, they think and feel as a possi- 
bility for themselves. Jesus Christ seems to them 
more human than humankind; so they call Him di- 
vine. He is supposed to hold the key of an over- 
mastering (eternal) life which is to be the heritage 
of men as they emerge from the half -formed, mal- 
formed sub-human life with which they are often 
enough content, and become Man. They speak of 
Jesus Christ as the first fruits of the human harvest, 
and as the first-born from the dead. 

There was a good deal of controversy in the 


twentieth century about the "finality" of Jesus; 
but this doctrine is no longer obtruded, possibly not 
even believed, not at least in the paralysing sense 
of past centuries. They do not separate him from 
mankind, nor from the heroes of men; it is men 
who, by their lack of life, separate themselves from 

They feel that the life of Christ, as contained 
even in their written fragments, is baffling in its 
many-sidedness, its richness, and its ferocity, its 
geniality and its austerity, its tenderness and its 
audacity ; but rather is it His life as a present God 
illustrated in that localised and limited life of the 
past, which is adored. The orthodox theologians, 
both past and present, have not expected to find 
everything in the written pages, but look for the 
extension of a life once manifest in Galilee in the 
subsequent lives of the family of mankind. They 
look to the life of the good time coming, the life of 
the golden age, "the world to come." Some writers 
have spoken of this consummation as "The Second 
Coming." They point to certain sayings in the 
scriptures as containing in germ the later doctrine 
of the Catholic Church on these points of faith. 1 

They do not pretend to find in the written gospels 
of the Christ after the Flesh, the God-life of man- 
kind drawn out, extended, illustrated in every de- 
tail and from every angle. For they have never 
been bibliolaters. They have never thought that 

1 Luke vi: 40; John xiv: 12. 


ink or parchment or written words could possibly 
give full expression to the Word, Who Is God. Nor 
do they conceive it possible that Jesus of Nazareth, 
the Very Man of Very Man and Very God of Very 
God, in a ten months' ministry, or at most three 
years, could live the long life of the perfect dramatist, 
the perfect artist, the perfect singer, the perfect 
agriculturalist, the perfect bricklayer, the perfect 
dancer, the perfect statesman, the perfect mother. 

All art is not only self-expression but self -limita- 
tion, and the art of God the Creator implies a re- 
striction, in which may possibly be found the key 
to the problem of evil. They believe that God the 
Word or the "God Expressed" limited Himself 
within the strong channel of a forcible life narrowed 
to a particular purpose, but that as he lay a babe in 
his mother's arms he filled and still fills the world 
with his presence, ever striving to express himself 
within the limitations of this or that heroic being; 
hence the importance of seeing God in men and 
women, and of the worship of the saints, no mere 
copies, but originals, distinct and multitudinous 
facets of that jewel of great price which is God. 

But the historic Christ is the norm and illustra- 
tion of the life of God and Man, the ever-present 
God inspiring men with the same secret of vigour 
and originality. The saints are taken as illustra- 
tions of the million-sidedness of God, latent and sug- 
gested in the life of Jesus Christ. As to images 
and pictures, their scriptures suggest that the idol 



is in itself a thing indifferent, for it may be the 
splendid representation of some heroic god, or the 
dark fashioning of a devil, whose service is that 
"Avarice which is Idolatry." What gods of wood 
or stone you make matters not; the God that mat- 
ters is the god you set up in your heart. The 
Calvinists never made a stone image of the thing 
they worshipped. If they had, the children would 
have run shrieking from its presence. None the 
less were they idolaters. It is hardly necessary to 
record the difference between the paintings and 
images in the churches of to-day and the "religious 
art" of the Dark Ages. 1 The gentlemanly drawing- 
room Christs, the simpering Madonnas, the feeble 
self-immolating saints are things of the past, for 
the portraits and images are brave and heroic, and 
the prevailing conceptions have revolutionised re- 
ligious art. 

In the huge nave Matins was being sung. Many 
of the Jewish psalms had been retained in the 
Liturgy, but to the Christian psalter had been added 
blank verse and free rhythms of later date. The 
chanting by men's voices sounded to me archaic, and 
I was better able to appreciate the hymns set to folk- 
melodies and sung by children. It seemed strange 
that the first lesson should be selected from a 
modern writer, but the second was from the New 
Testament. People were still coming into the nave, 
bringing their chairs from a stack by the west doors, 

1 Eighteenth, nineteenth, and early twentieth centuries. 
21 317 


and sitting where they liked, except that a pompous- 
looking beadle, gorgeously arrayed, kept a wide 
alley for the great procession. The decorations 
presented a daring scheme of colour. The tall 
pillars were wreathed with evergreen and many- 
coloured silken materials; between them stood the 
bright Christmas-trees, and over the entrance to 
Chancel loomed the Rood with its Calvary. But 
for the figure of the Crucified, and for the pro- 
cessional Cross, I saw neither crucifix nor cross 
throughout the building. It was through the grave 
and gate of pain, as represented on the Calvary 
screen, that we passed into the joyous life beyond. 
The wearying repetition of the same symbol was 
held to mark the impoverishment and decadence 
of the Catholic idea. At each festival an appro- 
priate image would be placed upon the high altar, 
or some picture hung above it. But for this image 
flanked by two candles spiked in candlesticks of 
crystal and silver, the long altar-table was bare of 
ornament and the eye was attracted not to the 
lights upon and above it and clustering at its sides, 
but to itself, enfolded in a sun-like frontal blazing 
with jewels. The chancel was hung with flags, 
faded and tattered trophies of brave crusades. On 
these flags were painted various emblems, the wheels 
of Catharine, the gridiron of Laurence, the lions of 
Mark, the spears of George. I could see, from my 
seat by one of the pillars, a side chapel with a sim- 
ple stone altar with two candlesticks of ebony, and 



between them an ivory Christ, like a young Greek 
shepherd, bearing on his shoulder not a lamb, but 
a goat, a symbol of the final restitution of all things. 
Before this altar, priests and laymen were vesting, 
and here were congregated boy and girl choristers, 
acolytes, taperers, robed, some in white, others in 
purple and blue and gold. A surpliced priest ap- 
proached the lamp hanging before the high altar 
and brought light down among the crowd, the men 
and women in front lighting the tapers they held 
in their hands and passing on the light from neigh- 
bour to neighbour, from row to row, until the whole 
building was a swaying forest of fire. This cere- 
mony symbolised the fulgent enthusiasm of com- 
radeship, kept ablaze by the handing-on of the torch 
from neighbour to neighbour and from one genera- 
tion to another. To have witnessed this wonderful 
sight almost compensated me for the midnight mass 
of Christmas Eve that I had missed, the mass at 
which nearly the whole district made communion, 
and which opened with the procession of wise men 
with their gold and incense and myrrh and shepherds 
with their lambs. This function had been pre- 
ceded by a drama of Bethlehem, acted under the 
huge vaulting of the Middle Tower by people of 
the town and their children, a drama in which 
humour and solemnity jostled one another in strange 

The Communion Service was in many respects 
like the service of my childhood, but instead of the 



negative commandments of the Jews had been 
substituted the positive commandments of the 
Christians, and in the prayers for the Great State 
there has been inserted a memorial of the Confeder- 
acy of Nations composing it. The doctrine of the 
Blessed Trinity, or of the One-in-many, runs through 
their whole conception of life, suggesting not only 
the complex personality of the individual, the 
trinity of the holy family in father, mother, child, 
but the international and composite unity of the 
State, the many nations gaining and not losing in- 
dividuality by each generous advance towards 
World-fellowship, by every casting-off of insularities 
and parochialisms. 

Just as the many nations are confederate in the 
State so are the parishes confederate in the national 
church, and the national churches in the inter- 
national Catholic Church, sending representatives 
to the great assemblies at which presides the su- 
preme pontiff, the President of the Eucumenical 
Councils of the Catholic Democracy. In the prayer 
for the Whole Church, mention was made of all its 
officers chosen and consecrated for various functions 
and administrations in the same. 

Beautiful as is the singing of the Gospel from a 
lectern down among the people, and the little pro- 
cession which precedes it, I was more impressed by 
the procession of the Offertory or Offering of the 
Fruits of the Earth, a procession which, winding 
in and out among the people, gathers some of them 



in its train; the laity bringing the offerings of 
Nature and the works of man's hands towards the 
altar; following them comes the deacon, his hands 
muffled in a long silk veil, bearing the sacred bread 
and wine, universal emblems of the products of art 
and nature. 

Although this People insists on the eternal values 
of the present life, it seems to be inspired by a con- 
viction of an after life transformed beyond the 
capacity of our present apprehension. They do 
not believe that the dissolution of death either de- 
stroys personality or with miraculous suddenness 
transmutes it. The majority of men undergo a 
process of purification, being cleansed by the fires 
of conscience fanned in the furnace of the terrible 
God of Love. They do not think that this process 
necessarily takes place in the arena of this earth; 
reincarnation is only one of many legitimate specu- 
lations, and by no means a popular one, for theo- 
logians realise that this earth is in size a mere speck 
of dust in the vast network of worlds that form the 
Universe. They no longer dogmatise as to place, 
but as to process. They teach that a few pure and 
courageous souls pass after death into the over- 
mastering life of God's Omnipresence, and find their 
heaven in co-operation with Him in the work of 
creation. Our entrance into this heaven is barred 
by stupidity and corruption, and for all there exists 
as a dread possibility, the outer darkness and the 
weeping and gnashing of teeth, though of not even 



the Judases of the earth are we to think of that 
possibility as a certainty. The presence of the 
whole company of heaven seems to pervade and 
invigorate the people, and prayer to all saints and 
for all souls is a never-ending fount of energy in 
the life of the Nation. 

From the moment when the Child is initiated by 
Baptism into the life of the Fellowship until the 
last rites of the Church are administered in the hour 
of death, the sacraments of friendship are his nourish- 
ment, and the graces of fellowship uphold him. 
Present at mass from earliest childhood, he makes 
his Communion only after having received the 
Sacrament of Confirmation, that effectual sign of 
the royal priesthood of mankind, "The Coming of 
age of the Christian." In the Sacrament of "Holy 
Order" some are consecrated as delegates and 
spokesmen of the whole human priesthood, and in 
this parish Mass of Christmas one felt that the Con- 
secration of the bread and wine at the hands of the 
bishop was not the act of a sacerdotal caste, but of 
all the people; for, as the great bell tolled at the 
supreme moment, not only the congregation, but 
the whole country-side was linked together in that 
act of adoration, when the everywhere present 
God is made manifest in the friendship of those 
who eat and drink in common, and in the nourish- 
ment and energy, the gaiety and intoxication of life, 
as symbolised by the life-giving bread and the genial 



In spite of what might be called the pantheistic, 
or more accurately the polytheistic, elements in 
the religion of the Great State, it all roots down into 
an intense conviction of the Being of the One God. 
The ethics are lively and practical, because Morality 
is not worshipped as a fixed and abstract divinity, 
but is looked upon as dependent on and in relation 
to people. It is kept from becoming static and 
stagnant by the Communion of Saints. Behind 
these innumerable personalities of sinners and saints, 
personalities ordinary and extraordinary, there is 
believed to exist the ever-present and personal God. 
The term "personal" is bravely used, not because 
His Being does not escape the net of all language, 
but because He is felt to be in converse and com- 
munion with men. Transcending personality, He 
must yet be appropriately expressed in the highest 
terms they know, the terms of their own humanity 
in its most human moments. For the Word became 
flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, 
as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace 
and truth. 




Is the existing form of state certain to transcend 
its borders ? Let us survey, by a fragmentary glimpse 
over history, the ancient majestic process of polity- 
making ; examine what one form of polity bequeaths 
to another; and take account also of the profound 
underlying and unifying force that the whole process 

Next; is there a test of true growth, in that pro- 
cess of human societies; a touchstone and assay of 
their prosperity, a check on false values and on in- 
human changes? Yes, there is the Family, the first 
glowing germ-cell. By this cell, as I shall show, the 
health of the polity stands, to live or die. 

WE do not know why the universe is what it is. 
We do not even know Man as he is; his nature is 
only being gradually unfolded. But two centres of 
being, Life and Mind, jut out with incomparable 
clearness. In the human body, they emerge as heart 
and brain. All hangs on the interaction of these. In 



men dying, the pulsation of the muscle of the heart 
will starve all other organs feet, hands, organs of 
generation, stomach in order to feed, with its last 
exhausted flutter, the consciousness of the brain. 
But these two centres are but surface-indexes to pro- 
found universal forces, acting through human society. 
Therein we see Life and finite Mind, moving in the 
region of Anangke that is, Nature unguided by 
finite Mind. Now Life and Mind we judge to be 
different stages in the growth of an "omnipotential 
principle, which draws its whole growth and con- 
tent from its environment." The two forms of 
Life and Mind are both always being urged by the 
pressure of this principle to frame wholes, totalities. 
Life and Mind have jointly the remarkable power of 
successively crystallising, as it were, round hap- 
hazard points, into organisms, selves, families, poli- 
ties of all kinds. By polity I mean any human group 
organised by finite Mind. 


THE aims of civilisation, or polity-making, may 
seem confused, but are not so. They are the preser- 
vation, in reservoirs of ever-increasing group-con- 
sciousness and range, of Life and Mind, in a steady 
relationship to each other, and the training of them 
both to increased force and completeness. Three 
reservoirs have been successively organisms, families, 

1 Driesch, quoted by B. Bosanquet. 


polities; which may dissolve, but always leave be- 
hind them spheres or basins of civilisation, out of 
which polities emerge and re-emerge, like bubbles 
from the moist ground round a spring. 

The central principle of things requires a ceaseless 
effort after whole-making; and this ultimately im- 
plies, I believe, soul-making. For this purpose a 
ceaseless interaction goes on between the two cen- 
tres, Life and Mind, as they move, oscillating, in 
age-long northward and southward rhythms as well 
as in eastward and westward rhythms of fertilising 
invasion over the surface of the globe. The moist 
ground-area of the spring, we shall see, goes on en- 


FIRST, towards polity-making, from cave, marsh, 
lake, move Life and Mind, possibly out of promiscu- 
ous or matrilinear group-forms, into the Cyclopean 
patriarchal Family, the main human unit, with its 
naked primal economic necessities food, shelter, 
warmth, procreation; Life always creeping ahead, 
always to be followed by wellings-up of Mind, in- 
tensifying the Life of the unit the Family. 

It is in an apparently spiral vortex-whirl that 
Life and Mind, the kindred and antagonistic allies, 
acting through the sex-lore and jealousy of a sire, 
create the Family, and thence the Polity. 

In the sea octopus, found at a depth of fifteen 
3 2 9 


thousand feet, shines an eye. The upper half of 
this eye is an organ of vision, the lower half an actual 
lamp, projecting light on external masses. Both 
halves radiate backwards and inwards currents of 
consciousness within the creature. These are the 
triple functions of Mind. Mind reflects the rami- 
fying movement, the fern-like expansion of the fibrils, 
veins, tendrils, and armours of its precursor and fel- 
low-centre. It intensifies consciousness, defensive 
and formative. In the human, Mind embodies 
Life in preservative habits, customs, morals, totem 
food-societies, by co-operative magic and religion. 
Next it adds the great step, Record ; and this Record, 
tide-mark of life, scored in material more enduring 
itself, Mind learns perpetually to diffuse. 

To diffuse, to interpenetrate, to absorb the out- 
ward and project the inward this is the special power 
of Mind. True inwardness is thus the complete 
grasp and absorption of the outward, and the pro- 
jection of so much as may be of the inward. Mind 
renders all things transparent, as the soak of essen- 
tial oils renders transparent, for the operating sur- 
geon, the tissue and cellular structure of bone. And 
as Life moves forwards in its shell-forming and polity- 
making it is not only quickened in its pace by Mind ; 
it is affected deeply in its own nature. And there- 
fore the polities which Life and Mind jointly create 
are more and more thoroughly suffused with Mind. 
Mind in its turn grasps and intensifies more and more 
of Life. There follows in the polity, therefore, in- 



crease of the brood-care which we call education; 
increases of self-guidance and group wisdom; and, 
since the very principle of Mind is diffusion, there 
is an increase in the range of the external structure of 
polity. Man does not invent the State only to satis- 
fy the impulse of the Family. He feels the impulse 
because his natural destination is the State, as Aris- 
totle said. This majestic process thrusting up from 
some source unknown, but whose unity we frag- 
mentarily apprehend, more and more numerous 
centres of nerve-consciousness to the surface of the 
globe, appears to be the expansion of some pro- 
found universal root of Self -dominion. 
This is the open secret of the world. 


IN this process the Life-centre and the Mind- 
centre in any polity are not allowed by. the omnipo- 
tential principle to fall far apart. Where they do not 
interact the polity-forming current ceases, a light 
vanishes, some low form of organism, of which all 
we know is that it has innumerable nervous centres 
and some of the philosophy for a brain, crumbles 
and disappears. There is a decomposition into 
smaller forms; the bubble of the polity relapses into 
inferior communities, the germ-cells of scattered 
families; and soul-making by that reservoir stops. 
Yet the reservoir has bequeathed something: the 
bubble of the Polity has relapsed, but the moist 



ground of the spring, the diffused sphere of Civilisa- 
tion, remains larger than it was before. 

Next observe that, although a vast latitude is 
allowed as to conditions of Life, and a vast tolerance 
as to the scope, products and activities of Mind, yet 
the making of the organised reservoir, the Polity, 
ceases when either Life or Mind receives mortal in- 
jury. The law is that Mind may extend and ramify 
its universalisings from basin to basin of civilisa- 
tion, provided that no fatal injury is done to Life, 
its basis in forming the Familial Unit. The final 
criterion of the health of the polity is found in the 
health of that Family for which society came into 
being. It is obvious that where the primal neces- 
sities of this unitary cell are not satisfied, there must 
follow a dwindling, a kind of cancerous break-down 
of the cellular tissue of the reservoir, as penalty for 
the infringement of the law of interaction of Life 
and Mind. If the area of harm be wide enough, 
the reservoir perishes; and reservoir-making is be- 
gun outside, round fresh foci. And clearly the reser- 
voir may perish in another way: it may fail under 
the impact of intenser Life outside. But these im- 
pacts usually infuse fresh blood; are absorbed and 
revitalise the reservoir, as the southern Chinese 
polity in its cut de sac was revitalised by Turki, 
Mongol, and Manchurian blood from the north, 
Gaul by the Prankish tribes, or Britain by the Saxon 

But the point to be observed is that, whether the 


reservoir or polity decays from internal or external 
causes, it bequeaths greater consciousness to the 
globe. Its inventions have always overflowed its 
borders and remained in the common heritage. 
The result, therefore, on the whole, during the re- 
corded history of the last twelve thousand years, 
from the time when Nippur drew into a village of 
reed-huts among the marshes of Euphrates, has al- 
ways been the formation of larger spring-areas of 
civilisation, which contain small sparsely-sown com- 
munities with a tradition of finer Mind. Out of 
these spring-areas arise larger polities of coarser 
structure, in which the small communities with 
traditions of finer Mind have a gradual influence of 
permeation ; so that the ultimate level of civilisation 
and the ultimate level of Mind, of the new large 
polities is higher than in the old; the two main dif- 
fusing forces being Trade and Thought, issue of the 
Life-centre and the Mind-centre respectively. For 
Mind has the property of never forgetting its own 
old communal levels; it to-day remembers the- level, 
for instance, which it had in the Athenian polity. 
Therefore in the new polity of larger area formed by 
Trade and Thought there will be a steady tendency 
for Mind to rise in the polity. There will be ulti- 
mately, after an interval of relapse, a more compre- 
hensive survey and level of conception than in the 
old. Life is ever being sheltered by wider inter- 
courses and under an ampler roof; and behind both 
Life and Mind there is no long pause in the motion 
22 333 


of the Omnipotential Principle. Stagnancies, fluc- 
tuations, delays, recessions of the tidal force, it is 
true, there always will be; black retrograde periods 
such as that of the fifth century of our era, when the 
Eastern and Western halves of the Roman Empire 
were a prey to Goths, Vandals, and the Huns of 
Attila. Yet, looked at broadly, if the tidal force 
has receded out of one reservoir, it has generally 
been to advance farther and higher elsewhere in an- 
other. From climax to climax, crest to crest, of the 
eight known civilisations, the wave-length period 
seems to be about fifteen hundred and thirty-five 
years. But the main depth and body of Mind in its 
commonalty, upon and out of which these waves are 
formed, seems steadily to deepen over the world. 

THUS the first foci of Life in Families crept out 
of the mists round the common Fire of a village. 
Through hundreds of thousands of years, from 
periods pre-glacial and pliocene, human life had 
risen to the cave-life of the Veddahs, and then the 
village. Nomad peoples tended to fail, as the hairy 
forest peoples tended to fail, in comparison with agri- 
cultural and settled tribes. Why? Because the settled 
folk could more effectively guard and feed the Family. 
Outside the village were the formative pressures of 
Anangke, duress of famine and fear. Next protec- 
tion is afforded to the huddling villages by the City, 



of which the root-idea is Fortress. But the Fortress, 
larger than the village, requires more food. Fortress 
becomes Market. The City requires a larger catch- 
ment-area of produce or of prey. It needs also 
roads through the region of Anangke. But primitive 
waters are roads ready-made, and easier roads than 
land-roads. River-dwellings on piles also afford 
protection from wild beasts. The first civilisations 
are therefore the three River Civilisations, Babylon- 
ian, Egyptian, and Assyrian, in the valleys of Eu- 
phrates, Nile, and Tigris. Their polities are mon- 
archies, pyramidal also in religion; and their Kings, 
sole ultimate intermediaries between the families of 
the people and their god. In each of these River 
Civilisations the Polity, in the fostering hot current 
between Life and Mind, swells hive-like honey- 
combed marvellously within into intricate galleries 
of crafts and castes. But even in remotest stages 
of early civilisation we find the stability and size of 
the Polity proportionate to the rank it accords to 
Mind. The three-staged Ziggurat, or mountainous 
stage-towers of unburned brick (faced with kiln- 
dried bricks laid in bitumen), and bearing on their 
summits the abode of the Babylonian god, had al- 
ways, in a great outlying building, their attendant 
Library. These Babylonian libraries, certainly far 
more than six thousand years before Christ, like the 
subsequent Egyptian libraries, contained text-books, 
school exercises, tables of mathematical formulae, as 
well as archives of temple and kingdom. In those 



River monarchies it was Mind that irrigated the 
desert. Mingling with the Life-centre, it fused and 
threw up the great composite structures Art and 
Religion. Religion, at first a mixed fear of ghosts 
and a hope in the power of ancestral spirits, finally 
expressed Man's sense of the relation of his polity 
and of his own soul to the Infinite power. Religion 
also now lifted the old local tribal gods into their 
niche in a system; into their footing in a hierarchy; 
reflecting the shape of the hive in the spiritual dome 
of a Pantheon for the gods. The River Polity thus 
helped to spread the conception of one God. For 
instance, the unifying of the forty-two nomes, or 
transverse river provinces of the Nile, under the 
cobra -headed Pharaonic crown, tended to draw 
their various tribal animal cults into a theocracy 
of one King-God who was supreme. 

Neter, the supreme God, remote and Almighty, in- 
different to man, deputed the management of human 
affairs to a crowd of minor deities, Sky, Heaven, Nile, 
Earth, Sun, and so on; with a myriad of Spirits. 
But, at least three thousand five hundred years be- 
fore Christ, out of this crowd of animal and physical 
deities a unique company of five gods and goddesses 
emerged, with the good culture-hero and king, Osiris, 
at their head. But what is the peculiar distinction 
of this divine group? It is precisely that they are 
human, incarnate, a sort of holy family. Isis is the 
sister and devoted wife of Osiris, coveted by Set, his 
evil brother, who murders Osiris, and poisons his 



son, Horus, begotten after death by Osiris. Osiris, 
risen again victorious, becomes God of the Moon, of 
the Dead, of Justice, Truth, and Immortality. Isis is 
the perfect woman, ideal wife and mother, a kind of 
Virgin Mary. Thus the most enduring, lofty, and 
central form of divinity among the Egyptians ap- 
pealed to the affections and the domesticity of the 
people, and took, it will be observed, the form of a 

Art, the other mixed structure, also arose (like 
Religion, expressing the whole emotional Man) in 
poetry, painting, and sculpture; while pure Mind, 
in experiment and Record, sowed the germ of the 
sciences. Record, in the shape of law, ramified with 
the honeycomb ; human status was slowly exchanged 
for contract; the ancient familial blood-rank of a 
child, class or estate, was slowly exchanged for 
specialised relationships between individuals, de- 
fined for practical purposes on clay tablet or papyr- 
us. At last all the streamlets of these specialised 
relationships are channelled in the spreading arter- 
ies of coded Law, as of Khammurabi's Code. Simul- 
taneously, disciplines of all kinds necessary for ritual, 
caste and craft and war, appear and are recorded. 
Every social channel has to be lined against the 
inner friction of its stream. Every repugnant task 
which is necessary must be enforced. Every thrust 
outward of human growth must have a hardened 
surface, armoured as the drill of tunnelling. Thus, 
through the efforts of countless centuries, are born 



the inward and outward indurations each a sign 
of social growth, inward or external. And, of course, 
added to religious and labour-class disciplines ap- 
pears, when the state strikes, the massed discipline 
of its armies. 

Of the whole ancient Polity, as Richelieu said 
later of the modern, the apparent essential is Fi- 
nance; collection and distribution of taxes for pro- 
tection of the worker's means of livelihood, and for 
the larger livelihood of the King, symbolic father 
and priest, chief worker and apex of the Polity. 


BUT, with the size, wealth, and complexity of the 
State Polity, its group of wants must expand; its 
tentacles of ship-and-caravan traffic are pushed 
farther afield to gather new luxuries in new seas, 
outer lands, beyond the area of self-sufficiency and 
self-guidance. We know, for instance, that in the 
third century A.D. a certain Chinese outpost frontier- 
officer, near Khotan in East Turkestan, was using 
Greek gems to seal his official documents. Just so 
a thousand years later, Marco Polo found China, 
under the Mongol Kublai Khan, even in her signal 
isolation behind the Gobi desert, the sea and the 
Pamirs and highest mountain ranges of the world, 
yet flooded with Persian luxuries and Greek ideas. 

And so, far earlier, even the River-civilisations found 
themselves diffused. Impelled by the omnipoten- 



tial principle towards greater completeness, the River- 
civilisations, by the traffic of their many-mouthed 
deltas, overflowed and are suffused into the larger 
Sea civilisations those of states grouped round the 
Mediterranean, Phoenician, Cretan, Hellenic, the last 
a shifting league of free democracies and oligarchies. 
Athens arises, shining exemplar for our times, served 
by all her citizens, not by deputy or merely by earn- 
ing a livelihood in special trades, but by personal 
service in folk-assembly; all citizens acting as judge 
and jury; all citizens as soldiers, with no relation- 
ships to the state discharged by proxy, so that each 
man's body and sense allied in loyalty actively to 
create her beauty and sustain her glory. 

Next the Roman central energies radiated, round 
a Mediterranean turned Roman lake, and spread 
undulating power round the Capitol, as far as from 
the Tyne to the Tigris. 

To-day the Sea civilisations are being succeeded 
by the Ocean civilisations; federations extending 
around the Atlantic and Pacific basins, inevitably 
to be knitted by the interpenetrations and depen- 
dencies of trade and thought, by labour, science, and 
the intercourse of universities (forming a complex 
of Life and Mind centres under the pressures of 
Anangke) into one richer civilisation; even utilising 
the Negroid and enveloping the globe. 

Yet in the Greater Polity, towards which we tend, 
all the old intermediate forms of polity, with most of 
their internal class and craft disciplines, harmonised 



by synthesis, will probably remain as absorbed and 
subordinated forms, national and municipal. These 
intermediate forms will contribute structural stabil- 
ity; and, preserving, each in its rank, ancient ideals 
of perfection (as Liverpool might take Athens for 
pattern), may long and nobly thrive, utilising the 
personal service of all our citizens. 


BUT to turn back for a moment. Why, if Mind 
renders Polity stable through its gift of Record and 
consciousness, did the Mind of Athens form no 
empire? Why did the Hellenic leagues fail to en- 
dure? The Greeks seemed specially to have come 
into existence to intensify and express what I have 
called the Mind-centre in polity-making. They are 
our masters in polity-making still. They wrote its 
very grammar. They made Athens a walk of free, 
probing, analytic, experimental mind; washing into 
the inlets of all life, disengaging the ideal and essence 
under all appearance. Their greatest plays are 
sheer rebellions of the ironic protagonists of Mind 
against Anangke and the settled status of the Olym- 
pians. The very decadence and rhetorical de- 
liquescence of tfreir famous schools of discussion 
coldly furnished forth later an organisation for that 
Alexandrian university which became the prototype 
of all mediaeval universities, and of our own splendid 
foundations in that kind, where we alone enjoy some- 



thing of the free communal delights of Athenian dem- 
ocracy. For Mind the Greeks stood. Even in the con- 
quests of Alexander, when, urged India-wards, by the 
omnipotential Principle, whispering "Totality! to- 
tality!" he spread his Greek colonies as garrisons 
far eastward as the Indus. For in time these made 
the Greek tongue the polite and learned language 
of the whole East. So that, as everybody knows, 
when the wreck of the Roman Empire left western 
learning in darkness, Arabic translations of Aris- 
totle's Ethics and Politics were being commented on 
by Mussulmans in Timbuctoo. Greeks also, though 
as mere provincials, supplied the language and 
bureaucracy of the Byzantine Empire; and be- 
queathed their own popular democratic spirit to the 
eastern form of Christianity, itself a great Greek 
polity. But it is true that Hellas failed to form an 
enduring federation; perhaps because, always colo- 
nising and centrifugal, Athens failed as a political cen- 
tre; perhaps partly because the age-long rivalry of 
Sparta would not admit the supremacy of Athens. 
But chiefly, I think, because larger, lower, and 
coarser forms of Polity, owing in their making more 
to Trade than to Thought, were required, at that 
moment, by the peoples round the Mediterranean 
basin. For the Greeks, Mind was more than Life. 
The Roman polity, coarser in texture and at a lower 
spiritual level than that of Athens, emerged, instead, 
to meet those wider economic needs. Perhaps the 
Family stood for less to the Greeks than to 



the Latins. Certainly the Greeks gathered round 
no Osirian religious myth, in which the Family be- 
comes divine. The Roman system took as its core 
rather the Life-centre than the Mind-centre; it 
stood for the hearth of the Family, the patria 
potestas of the remotest Aryans. It radiated afresh 
through all the craft or communal forms derived 
from Egypt, Crete, the Hellas, and the East, the 
energy of the primitive hearth-fire and Life force. 
These practical, hardy Latin farmers founded a re- 
public and an empire on a farmsteading. Their 
colonies were not, like Alexander's colonies, mer- 
cantile, but agricultural garrisons. Their Polity 
grew crystallised, creeping from town to town, from 
tribe to tribe, throughout five hundred years round 
a rude life at its roots agricultural. 

But by the roads, the colonies, the system of 
Caesar's legions and the Pandects of Justinian, the 
Roman system would not have endured alone. The 
imperial system of force and law derived from Sulla 
and Cassar became aware that it lacked that rein- 
forcement of kindly brotherhood which, after all, 
the ancient and the barbarian had known in his 
tribe and phratry. Therefore the Roman system 
supplemented and allied itself with the Christian 
religion; a faith of which the very core was the 
apotheosis and lifting -up of a human Family, as 
the form and symbol of the divine. The infant 
Christ was worshipped lying before the hearth-fire 
of Vesta. The Christian church, thus supplement- 



ing the patria potestas, was the resurgence of the 
Family ideal applied to polities. The Vestal orders 
became, in lineal succession, the sisterhoods of 
Christ. Scattered ascetic hermits were gradually 
gathered from their Thebaid desert cells, to form 
communal families of the spirit in Monasteries. 
Later, monks and friars of later Christianity under- 
took to deal, in kindly confraternity, with the out- 
cast and weaker elements of society; to deal with 
them, that is, as a Family. For the Family is the 
only sphere in which it is precisely the weaker mem- 
bers who receive the greater love and care. Thus 
the Christian system repaired and supplemented the 
natural defects of the commercial and military State. 
The Christian system dealt with the childish scholar, 
the born wastrel-beggar, the defective, the imbecile, 
the sick, the enfeebled through age or infancy. It 
not only created Hospitals, but revived Universities. 
So, by the co-operation of strength and spirit, the 
civil and religious systems of the Roman Empire 
formed the wide basin of European civilisation. The 
Roman system, assimilating in Cassar and Marcus 
Aurelius much of the Greek culture, had assimilated 
also the new Christian culture, and projected 
mightily and far, in this joint worship of the hearth, 
the discipline and the affection of the Family. 

Now, despite the rise at the time of the Renais- 
sance of the new modern nationalities, we still live 
under the shadow and amid the fragments of this 
double Roman system of law and morals; coloured 



only, throughout Europe and South and North 
America, by the local custom, common law and 
climate, of each country. 


THE next main contribution to group-wisdom was 
made by England. Her special contribution was 
Representation the Representation of localities by 
deputy. It is true that all forms of community 
were historically in a sense delegations thrown off 
by the Family unit; but they were delegations that 
in turn became themselves castes, bureaucracies, or 
sub-polities between Family and ruler. These 
skilled specialisations were apt to become alien and 
impervious to the appeal of the unit that had given 
them birth; and with the increasing size of the 
polity the problem has always been to refresh the 
central executive with the counsel, and control it 
by the will, of the Family; as well as to gather the 
Family's taxes. Now all ancient polities, even 
democratic polities, require the personal presence 
of their tax-payers, if consulted at all. No systematic 
employment of deputies was known to Egyptian, 
Greek, or Roman. But England (which had de- 
vised already the jury system, in which twelve men 
of the locality represent and stand for the communal 
sense in doing justice) , from Saxon times, applied the 
same principle to polities; that is, applied the prin- 
ciple of representation instead of presence, to tax- 



paying and counselling and controlling the King. 
Herein again, as always, we observe the economic 
need creating and forecasting the trend of the consti- 
tutional growth. The Saxon Township was the cell 
from which the whole organic structure of our House 
of Commons, or communities, has expanded. Each 
township sent a reeve and two or more elected men to 
the hundred-moot. The hundred-moot or meeting 
in turn sent a reeve and four men to the shire-moot. 
Next the shire-moot sent (1275 A.D.) two knights 
to the Parliament, while two burgesses were sum- 
moned from every borough. The House of Com- 
mons was thus itself created by extremely cautious 
and slow steps, gathering at last, after three hun- 
dred years, the chosen men of the shire-moots, 
borough-moots, and townships. So, by represen- 
tation, the Township was put in touch with the 
Crown, and the whole English polity grew up knit 
into a marvellously solid structure, astonishing by 
its unbroken series of cellular connections between 
the people and the executive. But this most an- 
cient word "Township" first meant nothing but 
the enclosure of a homestead. England, thus, in a 
manner, taught modern Europe how to bring the 
Family to bear on law-making, in the extended 
modern Polity. It was a device merely due to the 
increasing size of nations. All modern constitu- 
tions, including those of Latin South America and 
Japan, in this have copied hers. But it will be 
observed that Representation was a projection of 



the Family by deputy; a plan of which the defect 
is that it does not require direct personal service 
from every English citizen to the State. Hence the 
signal lack of state loyalty in modern England. 

But largely to extend the size of the polity, 
beyond the range of direct personal service, tends at 
first invariably to lower its central ethos and moral 
tone. Further, the sexes lose the balance of their 
numbers. To the far new frontiers, to the fighting- 
lines of the pioneer against Anangke, disperse the 
younger, the more valiant and vigorous men. At 
home remain the weakly, the street -bred, the com- 
mercial, the sedentary, and above all that great 
surplusage of unfertile women who increase either 
dulness, luxury, or the mass of prostitution. 

At all costs, it is from the group-wisdom of the 
Family that the modern state, absorbing and re- 
placing the supplementary humanitarianism of the 
churches, has still to learn. As the organ of the col- 
lective conscience it must replace the Church, and 
must include and co-ordinate all the chance humani- 
tarian philanthropies hitherto left to religious so- 
cieties. Poverty and unemployment must be utterly 
done away with, or else the starved and maimed 
families of our present terrible devitalised town areas 
will degrade into ruin the unthinking state that has 
bred them. This process must plainly be reinforced 
by the endowment of motherhood; for it is not 
through the facile service of the mother in the fac- 
tory, to which she is forced by hunger, even during 



child-bearing, that the greater home functions of the 
Family, on which all depends, can be healthily 

What mockery is it, that the sheer weight of 
armaments of modern nations, threatens, through 
the weight of taxation, to crush the households of 
humble livelihood, and to deform the Family, which 
the polity was originally created to protect and to 
subserve! For, if we seek Wisdom and Life, where 
do we find Wisdom and Life at their purest? 


INDIVIDUAL man has to move in two regions, 
and to draw wisdom from each. Two teachers only 
he has, the Family and Anangke. First from the 
Family he learns, and then from extended activities 
in the Polity which is a flaking-off from the 
Family. Secondly, from Anangke he learns; that 
is, from the hard and bracing Universe, unguided 
by Finite Mind, whence the Family itself first 

From direct and solitary contacts of the mind 
with Anangke all the mystics (and every man is 
in part mystic) can draw, by intense and controlled 
meditation, a sense of cosmic consciousness and 
fellowship with the roll of the world; a joy of free 
kingship with the elements themselves; an ecstatic 
union with that undifferentiated Spirit lying within 
the soul, to which all can have access, and which the 



Indians call Brahm. The solitary contact with 
Anangke culminates in Death, supreme Necessity. 

But the finest, most subtilised, and most delicate 
forms of wisdom Man derives from the Family. 
This is the school of all judgment ; fount of political 
measure and sense of proportion. The Family lies 
upon the breast of Anangke, but differs in law. It 
is the forge of all the loves. Here reside the central 
Wisdoms and Fires of life. Only in the Family do 
we find Ordered Love, the perfect combination of 
the two centres, Life and Mind. Its sheltered at- 
mosphere of the passions and affections introduces 
conscience, and alone renders morality intelligible. 

Love such as that between Man and Wife, 
Mother and Child, Child and Mother, is not emo- 
tional only, but also the supremest kind of intelli- 
gence an intelligence that feels forth after the past 
and future of its object, grasping and enswathing it 
with a memory and foresight, and a tenderness abso- 
lutely limitless in its dreams and reaches of intui- 
tion. To the depth and quality of this kind of 
understanding, all other understandings are as noth- 
ing. In such almost silent and selfless Love, the 
blindly moving omnipotential Principle surges every- 
where out of the ground of the world, and is seen 
disengaged, glowing, naked, pure, and at play. 
Created by and round that life-glow one discerns 
the true Family; group of the four wrinkled and 
elder persons nearing the subsidence of death, the 
two central and mature, the three or four young; 



and beyond them, in twilight, the outer kindred. 
All political thinking has been obscured by taking 
the individual as the human unit. There are no 
abstract social truths about individuals. Could our 
custom-blind vision pierce the physical surfaces of 
society to behold its real shaping forces, it would see 
cells, cup-like shapes, of group-consciousness and 
emotion, floating perpetually, invisibly, over the 
globe, like thistledown over grasses; their childish 
edges touching other groups, then mingling and 
floating off; while the parent centres shrink, con- 
tinue a while, subside and disappear, making room 
for other cellular forms. Social truth is what is 
true for this invisible group of nine Persons of both 
sexes and all ages. It is by this group, this glowing 
organic cell of nine persons (each no mere numeral 
of the statistician, but a fountain of passions, 
dreams, and hungers) that the nature of all Polity 
is dictated. For them Polity is formed, and if the 
common heart and will of that cell is not satisfied, 
the polity fades, as the European kingdoms of 
Napoleon faded. Its fostering warmth of affection, 
playing on the child, is that which forms character, 
but it forms more than character brain. For that 
glow has not only an emotional effect. Where affec- 
tion is absent, the whole growth of the child's nature 
is stunted. True growth is secret, shy, and free. 
The child, highly sensitive, is absolutely defenceless. 
Therefore, there must be absence of fear. Where 
the mother warmth is not turned on the naked ten- 
23 349 


derness of the young child the fibres of its whole 
frame and being, frozen into timidities, shrink, 
stunted. The strange effect of fear, then, is that it 
cancels the free joys and curiosities of the newly 
searching brain, and causes it to withdraw its feelers. 
The child's being is thereby impoverished not only in 
emotions, but in all its faculties. Where no strong 
familial and emotional glow has been early felt I 
have observed in later life a poorer, thinner, flightier 
quality of brain evolved. It is the quick flimsy 
brain of the gamin. If the child be deprived early 
of the fusing and tempering effect of feeling and re- 
sponse to maternal love, there follows also a perma- 
nent loss of equipoise. Even Natures as gifted as 
those of Ibsen, the younger Mill, and Ruskin were in 
consequence peculiarly apt in advanced age to lose 
emotional balance, at the shock of unaccustomed 
sexual and emotional explosions. Such often be- 
come the prey of sudden attachments, insane and 
disastrous, because belated. 

Let no exceptional bias of that embittered outcast, 
the writer or artist, mislead us in this matter. If 
a man has not in childhood, and for years, watched 
in their interactions the steady group of the Family, 
surmising in his child mind the thousandfold 
subtleties of their invisible intercourse and growth, 
he has missed the core of all the humanities, and 
lost the scale of values which must be learned in 
childhood or not at all. Such an one can only 
deal purblindly with the fragments of the families 


of others. Compared to the childish experiences of 
love and intelligence felt and returned, all other 
experiences are shallow. They bear the same re- 
lationship to the man's later acquirements and ex- 
perience as the enormous submerged achievements 
of bestial Man, in ascending to the successive levels 
of speech, fire, pottery, and the arrow, bear to all 
his later inventions. To this Vision and feeling for 
the group on which he is dependent, and from which 
all the skilled polities extend, we owe all real educa- 
tion. The nobler thoughts and emotions are group- 
thoughts and emotions. Effective religion and 
ethics are results of familial thinking, not of in- 
dividual intelligence. At this source are felt the 
play of the very essences of Joy, Sympathy, and 
Discipline; and these three combined are Wisdom. 
Therefore, it is in the inmost sheltered ring of the 
mother's tacit insight and provision, and the outer 
ring of provision by the father, that the child learns 
in the cross-currents of the cell the whole complex of 
Life; with its food, toys, ceremonial magic, exer- 
cises and battles, its folk-lore read out by the fire, 
the wordless comment of the eye felt observing, the 
reluctant thrashing held in reserve, the trade and 
barter of childish property, the joys of exploration, 
the intoxication of carnival and mere riot. All 
these enter into the judgment, and absolutely and 
finally create it, and all its later values. 

The political economist merely darkens counsel by 
pretentious technicalities of language. The economy 


of a State differs in nothing, save scale, from the 
housekeeping of a household. The child also knows 
more that its mother is the economist of spiritual 
forces, shielding and directing and turning souls 
this way or that. We are deceived by mass and 
scale. What are the wars of States more than the 
bickerings and bouts of children ? The average nat- 
ural man acts on three criteria of conduct, in three 
successive concentric circles: the familial, the equi- 
table, and the predatory. He applies the outer- 
most and last to all strangers and the uncivilised. 
And yet, and yet . . . seer, prophet, poet, and 
philosopher have had to die in legions merely to 
drive home the bare fact that, if the world is to 
improve, it is solely by projection through it of the 
Family, with its subtler and more intimate values 
and its atmosphere of love and personal service. 
The State has to learn from the home and not the 
home from State that by the "kingdom of God" 
was meant the spirit of the Family, propelled through 
myriads of undulations and resistances, to the end 
of the world; there destined to create a meeting 
and equipoise of forces, and thence to undulate back- 
ward, through the structure of all polities, spreading 
internally its strength, its discipline, and its enlight- 
enment of life. 

SINCE War will certainly continue so long as there 
are tracts of the world not effectively occupied or 



supervised by civilised states, because till then there 
must be collisions between states rushing to occupy, 
common sense would seem to dictate to the stiff and 
snarling Chancelleries of Europe to lay aside their 
canine dignities, and, calmly, by international com- 
mittee, to plot out and assign the virgin soil or the 
fallow areas. Men will shortly see the costly arma- 
ments of modern nations left stranded high and 
utterly extinct; hulks empty and abandoned as 
those jutting ruins and mammoth castles that dom- 
inate the passes of the Alps. Till then all polities 
will be arresting their own growth by delaying the 
cure of poverty, owing to the weight of competing 

And it would also seem clear that some new neutral 
kind of International Power should be called into 
existence (as the Universities were called in the 
Middle Ages). Of what nature should this new 
Power be? It should provide a point of rest, in 
neutral zones, for the due economy, in the common 
interest, of all those influences which transcend 
national boundaries and for which frontiers have 
no meaning. The following universal interests cer- 
tainly imply a universal bond. There is a common 
need of food and fear of death. There is a common 
delight between nations in all the arts, especially 
in music. The intercourse of distant universities, 
the congresses, and co-operative records of all 
scientific bodies, the sweeping collective influences 
of emigration, the implied fundamentals of all 



high systems of ethics, of all the great religions 
and the missions they send; the ever-expanding 
network of travel and communication in world- 
wandering; the nets of electricity and steam. 
Above all, the overwhelming unities of commerce 
and banking. All these things imply a streaming 
mass of universal interests, a world-force which may 
be gathered and utilised, framed into a new Inter- 
national Power, modelled perhaps on Universities 
combined with Chambers of Commerce; and given, 
as seats, enclaves of territory or neutral spheres, in 
the southern and northern hemispheres on each 


THE omnipotential principle tends blindly to en- 
large the size of the polity, seeking universal stability 
and fertilisation of the globe by life and mind. But 
outward peace and stability once attained, the size 
of the polity should again diminish to Attic limits, 
as of the small republics, within range of direct 
personal service, and of the powers of the Family to 
purify. And if War between nations vanishes, it is 
certain that, in order to preserve Life at a high level, 
severe internal disciplines must be retained in each 
polity. Anangke, on whose breast the Family itself 
reposes, and the omnipotential principle behind Life 
and Mind, will see to that. Youth, which should 
freely pass at adolescence out of the discipline of the 
home to that of the school, will have to acquire all 
the ancient successive indurations and disciplines 



imposed now amidst larger opportunities and choices 
of employment afforded by the expanding spheres 
of civilisation. Above all, direct personal service to 
the state of all young persons should be required. 
The whole youth of the country between fourteen and 
twenty years of age should be obliged to learn some 
technical pursuit during at least half his day. The 
rest of his time may go to leisure, play, and Anangke. 
One year should be given to pass each through 
some public service of a defensive discipline, or a 
dangerous or a repugnant kind, in order to brace 
and temper Life. Above twenty years of age every 
individual should be encouraged to choose an avoca- 
tion with the utmost freedom, remembering only 
that that work is worth most to the state, into which 
only a man's whole weight of conviction, from the 
centres of his being, can be thrown. 


FINALLY, given the preservation of the Family, the 
formation of the greater areas of civilisation, which 
we have seen is proceeding, clearly enriches the 
world, through the influx and admixture of a larger 
number of stocks and races, with, therefore, better 
chances of cross-fertilisation. And all new inven- 
tions are thrown into a cauldron of more manifold op- 
portunity. The growth of area insures the destiny of 
Man against adverse chances by spreading his bases 
of resource and action wider, and by drawing trib- 
utes of raw material from vaster orbits of climate. 



And yet it remains that only in the person of great 
individuals of genius can these multitudinous ele- 
ments fuse, by a detonating spark, into fresh in- 
ventions for humanity. After our debts to Chance 
and Anangke, we owe most to Genius. We owe to it, 
indeed, far more than invention. It is to Genius 
and to the Family that humanity owes such equi- 
poise, love, and simplifying vision as it has attained. 
Genius is conscience and consciousness at its whitest 
heat, bearing the subtlest implications of the Family 
most clearly and steadily in mind. But the soul 
of a child of Genius requires to live long encysted 
and ensheathed. Encysted, first, in the warmth of 
love; and then in solitude, as were the shy souls 
of Shelley or Christ. The strength of Genius lies 
in its ignorances. For this child is Life itself, free 
and pure; older than its father, and abler to resort 
afresh to the primordial fountains. All that Polity, 
after the Family, can add to the instinctive endow- 
ment of the child is knowledge of the technical 
languages of the crafts, and of the various disciplines 
necessary to deal with his fellows and to meet 
Anangke. But these may all be learned in the 
Family. His children are the best teachers of any 
father. Therefore, the Polity and the World have 
not, in the main, much to teach. Rather they have 
to learn from the ultimate judgments of the Family 
and the Child. These are the lawgivers from 
whom all the values radiate. 




TRADITION always has been and always will be 
a dominant factor in human association. Yet this 
is extraordinarily disregarded in contemporary dis- 
cussion; at most, tradition is currently considered 
and discussed as exerting a diminishing influence in 
the onward sweep of civilisation. The purpose of 
this paper is to point out that tradition, great as 
its influence has been hitherto, is manifestly des- 
tined to exert a far greater influence in the future. 
And, the relation between tradition and formal edu- 
cation being very intimate, this function of Great 
State activities will receive especial consideration in 
this paper. To discuss tradition is in fact to discuss 

No one will dispute that tradition dominates the 
Normal Social Life. Primitive men found in the 
beginnings of speech a means whereby to build up 
and transmit from generation to generation those 
superstitions, legends, prejudices, habits, and cus- 
toms developed by conflict between man and his 
environment. Intensely localised, each group would 
have its particular ideas which would become the 



substance of an education admirably fitted to meet 
the needs of man under this form of association. 
We see that such an education, though varying from 
group to group, would have two leading character- 
istics. First it would be limited in amount, and 
secondly it would be stereotyped. So long as the 
relations between man and his environment are 
limited and unchanging, not only must there soon be 
a limit to the development and increase of tradition, 
but there can be little further modification of its 
character. That is, tradition is the outcome of re- 
lationship, and the Normal Social Life, as we writers 
conceive it, is correlated with a general absence of 
those disturbing forces, the tendency of which is to 
produce new relationships and, therefore, new and 
more elaborate tradition. Thus we find the Normal 
Social Life still persisting over vast tracts of earth 
to-day, primitive and fundamentally unchanged by 
the passage of time and having an extraordinary 
uniformity of tradition in regard to all the funda- 
mental social relationships. Fallacious though the 
clap-trap talked about "unchanging human nature" 
often is, it approximates the truth when applied to 
communities most nearly in the phrase of the 
Normal Social Life. 

But of course tradition has never been absolutely 
inflexible or unprogressive. Always a number of 
forces have been producing new ways of living, new 
relationships, new modifications of tradition. And 
if one believes, as we believe, that these extraneous 



influences are becoming of rapidly increasing im- 
portance in relation to the Normal Social Life, it 
follows that tradition, instead of disappearing, will 
become more important than ever by reason of the 
resulting modifications in its character and range. 
Its potency, an interpretation and discipline of re- 
lationship, will need to be increased to a hitherto 
undreamed-of degree. Herein will be the essential 
value of tradition. The possibilities of a Great 
State must ultimately depend on the quality and har- 
mony of its collective thought; and, that thought 
may be collective, it must rest on a broad basis of 
tradition, of interaction and understanding, common 
to all. Unless this amplified tradition is common 
to every citizen and to every child born into the 
community, the epithet "great" as defining that 
community will be misapplied. The development 
of such a community will be hampered on every side, 
and at last arrested by the appearance of a multitude 
of sects and castes, of specialised classes, suspicious 
and contemptuous of everything beyond their own 
peculiar circles of thought. Sectarianism is, as it 
were, an infantile disease of the Great State, and 
has slain hitherto every fresh attempt to exist of 
the Great State. Mutuality, co-operation, efficient 
criticism, and subtlety of thought are alike impos- 
sible; effort is fragmentary and wasteful, and the 
community has as little mastery over its destinies 
as an ailing child unless its tradition is adequate 
and universal. 



Now, amplification of tradition in the past has 
always been accompanied by increasing range of 
intercourse. Those primitive men who wandered 
away from the tribe and survived, and perhaps re- 
turned or were fused into some alien group, would be 
certain to widen not only their own range of inter- 
course, but also that of those with whom they came 
in contact. No matter what influence brought man 
into touch with new relationships it was more often 
than not slave-trading and war this would be the 
probable result. 

Not necessarily was the bringing into touch direct 
contact. With the invention of writing, tradition 
ceased to be purely oral: henceforth it could be re- 
corded and multiplied and transmitted from a dis- 
tance, from here to there, and from one age to 
another. Range of intercourse widened enormously, 
and more than ever it became possible to experience 
new relationships, as it were, vicariously a thing 
already possible in a limited degree since the de- 
velopment of speech. Thus, step by step, tradition 
expanded and grew. . . . 

From these considerations it is easy to pass on to 
the proposition that the school education of the 
Great State, so far as it enlarges and supplements the 
oral education of the Normal Social Life so far, that 
is, as it is an adjustment of the new citizen to the 
larger society in which he finds himself must be 
essentially a tra'ning in enlarged communications 
and the study of multitudinous relationships must 



be essentially the imparting of the Great State 
tradition and its methods of enlargement. 

Let us consider briefly the methods likely to be 
adopted to invigorate the general process of thought 
and to organise those forces which will be carrying 
on, modifying, and enlarging the collective body of 
tradition. There we reach what is probably the most 
vital consideration of all, the problem upon a solu- 
tion of which the project of a Great State depends. 

The study of communication in the education of 
the citizen of the Great State will probably be dealt 
with under various heads, such as language-training, 
drawing, painting, sculpture, and the like; mathe- 
matics, logic, and other symbolical methods. 
Whether there is likely to be one or several languages 
in current use is a question upon which it is impos- 
sible to form a judgment. It is another matter, how- 
ever, to glance at general tendencies and from them 
form a plausible deduction. Here the accumulative 
growth of disturbing forces and influences points to 
certain probabilities. The immediate and most 
obvious outcome of these forces is the extraordinary 
extent to which man is being delocalised in both 
body and mind. One has only to think of such 
recent inventions as the electric telegraph, telephone, 
wireless telegraphy, steam and electric tractions, 
the motor-car and motor-vehicles of every descrip- 
tion, the ocean line* and the aeroplane, to see how 
quite common men to-day are enabled to sweep out 
ever - widening circles of mental and physical ac- 



tivity. Think of the stupendous growth of the 
penny-post alone! All these are things so recent 
that the effect upon human mentality can scarcely 
as yet be beginning. Bearing this in mind, it is 
difficult to believe that a multiplicity of languages, 
and all the barriers to the broadening of intellect that 
such a multiplicity implies, will prevail for long 
before the systematic enlargement of the means of 
communication which will be a distinctive charac- 
teristic of the Great State. While it is not within 
the scope of this essay to consider whether one lan- 
guage will overcome its rivals or whether there will 
be a world language resulting from the fusion of 
several existing tongues, it should be noted that the 
substitution of one general language for the babel 
of to-day would itself widen enormously the range 
of a general intercourse and tradition. In this con- 
nection we may remember that the Great State has 
been defined as a social system world-wide in its 
interests and outlook. Language-teaching would be 
greatly simplified. Having but one language to 
learn, there would be some prospect of the average 
citizen acquiring a really comprehensive knowledge 
of his tongue, which is far from being the case in 
any community to-day. How many contemporary 
English-speaking people know more than a tithe of 
their own language ? Even the little knowledge they 
have is vague and misapprehensive to an astonishing 
degree. Much muddled thought in contemporary 
life springs from an imperfect apprehension of the 



written and spoken language. No attempt is made 
to provide our youth with a liberally inclusive 
vocabulary. One's knowledge of English is often 
found on examination to be no other word seems 
so apposite jerry built. New words are acquired at 
random through reading and intercourse, a loose and 
distorted significance often being gathered from the 

Language-training, then, must involve the acquisi- 
tion of a vocabulary of the greatest possible content, 
each word in which must be thoroughly understood 
if such training is not to fail of its essential purpose, 
and through that work of definition and enlargement 
the amplification of tradition and thought to more 
and more spacious horizons, and the bringing of 
every citizen into understanding contact with that 
tradition. As to drawing and music, it is possible 
these will be taught chiefly as a means of expressing 
thoughts and emotions which cannot be communi- 
cated in words. Again, mathematics resolves on 
analysis into a system of symbol communication. 
Consideration will presently be given to the idea 
glanced at in the opening essay of a change in oc- 
cupation being normal to the life of every citizen. 
Here it may be remarked that changes of occupa- 
tion would be greatly facilitated by a wide-spread 
and thorough knowledge of mathematics, since the 
occupations involving such a knowledge form a con- 
siderable portion of present-day activities. No one 
can hope to be a competent astronomer without a 

24 365 


knowledge of mathematics. Most of the physical 
sciences require its aid. Even music involves 
mathematics in its last analysis. Great armies of 
people calling themselves engineers would be un- 
able to achieve their ends without this science, and 
everywhere we find a rapidly increasing number of 
men engaged in physical research and the application 
of scientific deductions to technical ends, the quality 
of the results being commensurate with the mathe- 
matical knowledge possessed by those carrying out 
the investigations. An endless diversity of intricate 
machinery grows and spreads about the earth, and 
a mathematician has taken a part in the evolution 
of every machine that is well proportioned and care- 
fully designed. Even to-day people ignorant of 
mathematics show a disposition towards either an 
ignorant hatred or a superstitious awe of most of 
the beautiful apparatus that binds our civilisation 

A superficial observer might argue that with the 
growth of knowledge standardisation of machinery 
and formulas will ensue to such an extent that a 
general and advanced knowledge of mathematics 
will be unnecessary. No such hope is supported by 
the tendencies of contemporary engineering. The 
nearer the approach to perfection in any machine, 
the greater the subtlety and refinement of calcu- 
lation required. Moreover, machines no sooner 
approach the measure of perfection possible to 
them than some new discovery is made which ren- 



ders the whole design of that machine obsolescent. 
A good example of this is the present partial replace- 
ment of reciprocating steam-engines by the steam- 
turbine, which involves a whole host of new and 
intricate calculations. The increasing application of 
internal-combustion engines to ship-propulsion and 
the coming of the aeroplane place vast new fields of 
research at the disposal of the engineer with a knowl- 
edge of mathematics ; and it may be that engineering 
problems will continue to increase in complexity and 
in universality of interest till at last our remote 
progeny will be within reach of the possibility of a 
system of controls of the earth's velocity, and will 
steer our planet nearer and nearer the sun as its heat 
and splendour wane. . . . But I have wandered away 
from my point, which is that mathematics, together 
with language-training and those activities of expres- 
sion usually referred to collectively as "art," will 
form the necessary basis of education in the Great 
State not the education, but the basis and means 
of education. To consider these fundamentals in 
greater detail would be to pass beyond the bounds of 
this essay. Let me, therefore, return now to a more 
general consideration of tradition in relation to the 
Great State. 

It should, of course, be remembered that while 
the leading characteristic of tradition in the future 
will be its insistence on personal adaptability and its 
secular modification and development, there must 
always be a group of ideas that will persevere over 



long periods practically unchanged. Many of the 
needs of men are long-lived, and it is an open ques- 
tion whether most if not all of our present-day tradi- 
tions will not go on to a fuller a.nd completer influence 
in the lives of the citizens of the Great State. That 
large body of tradition we speak of as Christianity, 
for example, may conceivably serve as the basis of the 
moral tradition in the Great State. This matter is, 
I believe, to be discussed more fully in another 
paper in this book, but the present writer now ven- 
tures to offer a few remarks that seem to fall within 
his scope. In many ways he admits Christian tra- 
dition has been a beneficial factor in our evolution. 
Its teaching of love and concord is of the very essence 
of the Great State. Whatever broadens the basis of 
sympathy and mutual understanding is a force 
operating in the constructive direction, and so it 
would seem probable that Christianity will at least 
survive in its spirit and intermingle with the more 
elaborate traditions of the future. In no case can a 
tradition disappear without leaving behind it some 
effect or influence. But this is far from asserting 
that there need be or will be a definite survival of 
Christianity as such. Contemporary Christianity 
must purge itself from a multitude of defects before it 
can possibly be acceptable to the clear-headed men 
who will be the normal citizens of the Great State. 
A mere spirit of co-operation alone can never be all- 
sufficing for the religious basis of tradition. The 
Great State will be complex beyond all precedent; 



and that he may cope successfully with these com- 
plexities, the average citizen must be trained to think 
clearly and exhaustively, and be given a wealth of 
tradition for his guidance multifarious beyond any 
the world has yet produced. Christianity as we 
know it at present makes no insistence upon under- 
standing and mental alertness as duties, nor upon 
the supreme necessity of thoroughness in thought 
and work. It is not a critical religion; it is emotion- 
ally sound, perhaps, but critically careless, and the 
vital preservative of right in a complex situation is a 
critical faculty highly stimulated and fed. 

It would be impertinent to discuss so detailed 
a thing as the probable tradition of the future in 
relation to moral ends. But it seems clear that we 
have to look rather to a living literature and drama, 
and it may be to a living pulpit for that perpetual 
stream of criticism which is the life-blood of a great 
community, which indeed must be deliberately 
fostered with a view to the continual reinvigoration 
of tradition and thought if the Great State is to 
remain in health. Quite possibly there will be no 
definite "moral" teaching by way of precept in the 
Great State in the sense in which "moral" is com- 
monly understood to-day. The tendency of liberal 
thought to-day seems to be altogether away from 
definite moral controls towards a latitude which 
implies alternately that relationship should be 
judged upon its merits. We are slowly learning 
that no moral code can be framed of general appli- 



cation without a vast amount of limitation and 
injustice in individual cases. The writer believes 
that if the Great State is to be possible at all, the 
traditional atmosphere surrounding each individual, 
from his youth up, must be such that a sense of 
social conduct will become intuitive. He will do 
right because his atmosphere is right, and not because 
his definite instructions are right. Meanwhile, on 
our way to the Great State, all moral laws and judg- 
ments, all arbitrary pronouncements regarding moral 
questions, must be submitted without bigotry and 
without prejudice to detailed scrutiny and criticism. 

The age in which we live is characterised by the 
unprecedented intricacy of its relationships. Com- 
plex problems face us on every side. We are, as it 
were, entangled in a net, and in the measure that our 
schemes of extrication are dully conceived, carelessly 
and weakly planned, we shall be more and more 
hopelessly involved. Never was the need for pene- 
trating analysis and criticism so pressing. Con- 
sider, for instance, the problem of the official and his 
relationship to the normal citizen all the possi- 
bilities of demoralisation by office and the loss of 
sympathy of the citizen towards the official. How 
will criticism, aided by a fund of spacious tradition, 
be directed to the solution of such problems as these? 

Whatever demoralisation takes place in an official 
is partly due to the fact that he is a specialist that 
is, a human being who has narrowed the sphere of 
his activity at the expense of his social instincts, 



thereby becoming but a fraction of a man. He 
sees a field of activities as brightly lit, perhaps, 
but as limited as the field of a microscope; and not 
infrequently it is as though the microscope was a 
little out of focus. There is a blurring as of things 
too close to the eyes to be distinctly seen. More- 
over, office usually implies a power over his fellows 
which inevitably breeds first pride and then corrup- 
tion in little minds. Speaking generally, an official's 
pleasure in the direction and regulation of other 
people's lives is inversely proportional to his mental 
capacity and range. Amplification of tradition should 
therefore carry us at least half-way to a solution of 
this problem. Let it be granted that every child will 
acquire from his parents, his teachers, and his fellow- 
creatures a spacious and comprehensive outlook on 
life in all its manifold aspects and relationships, and 
it follows that the suspicions, prejudices, jealousies, 
the lack of sympathy and of generosity of dealing 
which are too often the concomitants of officialdom 
to-day, will be almost non-existent in the Great 
State. It is conceivable that constitutional methods 
such as change of office, short terms of office, would 
suffice to eliminate whatever remains of this, the 
supreme difficulty of all constructive projects. 

And here perhaps I may venture to offer a few 
remarks upon specialists and specialisation in 

It is a characteristic of specialisation that it 
encourages the fragmentation of human thought 


and effort. Essentially it belongs to the era of 
localised tradition and limited outlook and is every- 
where reflected in the castes, cliques, cults, and 
classes which are so familiar a feature of the earlier 
social superstructures upon the Normal Social Life 
such as we find in India. It multiplies to infinity the 
possibilities of misunderstanding, jealousy, hatred, 
and dissension. We cannot here consider the his- 
torical aspect of specialisation in detail, but a general 
survey indicates that it originated in the segregation 
of the rulers, warriors, priests, traders, and slaves 
who until recent years formed the backbone of prac- 
tically every human community. The caste system 
of India originated in this manner some three 
thousand years ago, developing in course of time into 
the most elaborate system of specialisation on record ; 
and nowhere is the Normal Social Life more firmly 
rooted as the common way of living and its tradition 
as the universal tradition than in India. It must, 
however, be clearly understood that specialisation 
is not necessarily peculiar to the Normal Social Life. 
There can be few ideas more prevalent than those of 
domination, subordination, and specialisation; and 
since the ideas with which humanity is most familiar 
have a strong tendency to perpetuation it is con- 
ceivable that the persistence of these ideas into a 
period of change and comprehensive reconstruction 
may yet lead to a social order in which the bulk 
of humanity will be almost as specialised in function 
as the wheels and levers of a machine, and subordi- 



nated to and co-ordinated by a small class of wealthy, 
vigorous, and probably truculent overseers and "un- 
derstanding persons" in short, a Servile State. If, 
therefore, we are to escape both from the evils of the 
Normal Social Life and from those of the possible 
Servile State, we must systematically encourage 
forces adverse to specialisation of individuals. A 
tradition of liberalism and criticism must be con- 
sciously sustained. Granting that in the Great 
State each citizen will be brought into contact with 
the broadening influence of a catholic tradition, it is 
possible there will be no specialists at all in the or- 
dinary sense of the word. That there may be a degree 
of specialisation in certain lives is quite probable. 
Not only has knowledge grown beyond the possi- 
bilities of individual intellectual grasp, but always 
there are men who at an early age show predilections 
for a certain class of work; and in so far as they 
excel in that work they will, no doubt, be specialists. 
But this need not involve, as it so often involves 
now, the atrophy of all those possibilities of de- 
velopment not brought to bear on the matter im- 
mediately in hand. A man will be able to specialise 
and yet remain a man. The tradition of his time 
and education, the new tradition of the Great State, 
will have fitted him to tackle widely differing 
classes of work; and even if he devotes his life to one 
field of narrowed limits determined by his special 
capacity, he will still have a sympathetic under- 
standing of those activities which lie beyond his 



self-imposed range. With the normal run of human- 
ity, however, it seems probable that change of work 
from time to time will give the best results for both 
the individual in happiness and for the community in 
product. It is extremely doubtful whether any man 
is a good and happy specialist all his life, any more 
than he can always be a good and happy lover. 
Even a lifetime wholly of work, albeit enlivened 
and enlarged by repeated changes of occupation, will 
probably be considered as regrettable in the Great 
State. To work, as to love, is but a phase in man's 
development. A balanced attitude towards life 
demands lengthy intervals of leisure, time for 
travel and recreation, periods devoted to thought 
and exercise, days of solitude and contemplation. 
Stevenson has pointed out that extreme busyness 
is a symptom of deficient vitality, and that a faculty 
for idleness as opposed to the exercise of some con- 
ventional occupation implies a catholic appetite and 
a strong sense of personal identity. This is pro- 
foundly true; and to concentrate the whole or even 
the greater part of a lifetime on any one aspect of life 
to the complete or partial neglect of all others is a 
waste of potentialities and by so much essentially 
a failure to live. 

It seems to the present writer that there is a cer- 
tain cycle of efficiency for the average human being. 
Every man's development as a worker appears to 
follow some law of accumulation and fatigue which 
involves first a period of interest combined with a 



certain lack of dexterity, then an interval of maxi- 
mum interest and maximum efficiency, followed at 
length by a decline towards routine. Interest in 
most cases begins to flag before efficiency shows 
any serious signs of falling away, for after work 
has been well executed for a number of years me- 
chanical aptitude may keep one going, though fresh- 
ness and zeal have departed. An interesting side 
issue here would be to consider whether, generally 
speaking, our judges, bishops, admirals, and generals 
are not appointed at a period of life when fire and 
enthusiasm are declining and a certain staleness and 
secondary inefficiency are setting in. As a matter 
of fact, there comes to most specialists a time when 
they are glad to retire from the work to which 
they have devoted the greater portion of their lives. 
But this by no means necessarily indicates that their 
energies are exhausted. They are tired of their 
specialty, and at last comes a reaching-out to other 
things about which to centre their activities. Such 
names as Mr. Balfour, Lord Rosebery, and Sir 
Frederic Treves may be cited as British instances of 
this cessation of interests in a special occupation. 
The last is a particularly good example of a man who, 
having attained to an extreme eminence as a surgeon, 
retired deliberately while still in the prime of life 
to travel, to write, to become a more generalised 

Now, bearing in mind the ample tradition and 
education of the Great State and the fact that 



mechanism and co-ordinated effort will have reduced 
the unavoidable work for each individual to a few 
hours a day, it is not difficult to imagine a man 
under these conditions spending a portion of his 
leisure in familiarising himself with the details of 
some occupation other than that primarily engaging 
his attention. As interest in his earlier occupation 
relatively or actually declines and proficiency in the 
new increases, the latter becomes the chief medium 
for the exercise of his faculties. Thus the normal 
citizen in the Great State may range over very wide 
fields of work indeed, broadening in outlook and 
understanding, growing in sympathy and toleration. 
And I think in all discussions as this there is too 
strong a disposition to that idea of a three or four 
hour working day. Why not a ten-year working 
life? and do it jolly and hard while you are 
at it? 

It may be argued that the result of such a reduc- 
tion of specialisation as I am suggesting would be a 
community of incompetent amateurs. Such an argu- 
ment ignores the fact that the very possibility of a 
Great State postulates a wealth of tradition and edu- 
cation available for each citizen, thus insuring knowl- 
edge and thoroughness being applied to whatever 
work is taken in hand. No doubt there may be 
differences in quality of output. Work may be 
crudely done here, elaborately and beautifully fin- 
ished there. This does not invalidate our general 



At the present time there is far too general an 
acquiescence in the specialisation of individuals. 
Common people are dazzled by the brilliant light 
often focussed by the specialist on his specialty; 
they forget the worlds which, lying beyond the range 
of his imaginative grasp, the specialist cannot realise. 
And they fail to understand that a community of 
specialists must inevitably lack collective vision and 
understanding by reason of the inco-ordination of 
its units. The specialist may take you nearer the 
Great State in all sorts of ways, but it is very doubt- 
ful if he will ever get you or himself there. No 
attempt is being made to study the possible reac- 
tions of specialisation on the human mind. One 
thinks of specialists who are secretive and cunning, 
of specialised business men who prefer to work behind 
the scenes and who delight in letters that are "private 
and confidential." One thinks of the artful bureau- 
cratic expert and the dull but crafty and intriguing 
diplomat. How far is all this "foxiness" mere co- 
incidence, and how far is it a necessary characteristic 
of specialisation? This is but one of a countless 
number of such questions that must be answered on 
our way to the Great State. For his own part the 
writer cannot conceive any sort of Great State that 
will endure a year, where education, where tradition, 
does not first make its citizen a gentleman, and 
then,^in a relation entirely secondary, a specialised 

But already this discussion of specialisation has 


been carried beyond the limits of this paper. That so 
much contemporary writing expresses the conviction 
that any possible future state must be dominated by 
specialists and officials (using the words in their 
generally accepted sense of narrow concentration) 
will perhaps serve as an adequate excuse. The 
writer firmly believes in the possibility of a Great 
State which will include neither official as such nor 
specialist as such, a state in which this that he here 
throws out so sketchily will probably have been fully 
worked out; but he also believes that, without hav- 
ing at its base some such tradition and education as 
he has indicated, no Great State can possibly exist. 
Amplification of tradition, increasing enlargement of 
the means of communication, together with educa- 
tion developed to these ends, forming a foundation 
for vigorous, subtle, and all-embracing thought 
these are our fundamental needs. Herein lie the 
seeds of unparalleled greatness, possibilities of devel- 
opment leading to ways of life more splendid than all 
our dreams. 

Is it possible to have a world of men such that 
merely to live in it were a liberal education? The 
question is already answered. We of this book say : 
on certain conditions, yes. Dimly we perceive the 
road which, leading thither, winds darkly outwards 
across the centuries. There are ways leading else- 
where; humanity may take the wrong turning, and 
may yet be overwhelmed in a Red Sea of petty, 
trivial, immediate things. There are times, indeed, 



when lack of faith gives the lie -to one's hopes and 
the vision of a Great State wavers and fades. . . . 

The permutations of life's possibilities are beyond 
our telling. But this at least we steadfastly believe : 
there is no insuperable barrier between mankind and 
the goal of our desire. 



University of Toronto 








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